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children of pain
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02/07/21 to 04/25/21

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The Healing Intention - “There are no perfect processes or perfect people, so we come together to listen, to share, to learn, and to heal.”


The Contentment Intention - “Self, grant me the contentment to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the understanding to know the difference.”

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NOTE: all meetings in February, 2021, will be Open Shares

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STEP STUDY: 1st Sunday every month

March 7, 2021 = Step 1: Recognize

We will be reading these three paragraphs from Step 1 in the book Children Of Pain (pages 39-40), followed by time for participants to do 4 minute shares after each one is read:

The first question anyone reading this book should have is, “Am I a child of pain?” If my 2014 childhood abuse survey was any indication, then 21% - or about 1 out of 5 - of the U.S. population has survived some form of sexual abuse when they were children. But there are other kinds of childhood abuse, too, including verbal, emotional, physical, and neglect. And even though I will usually refer to abusers as adults, sometimes our abusers were children, too. So, the true number of silent soldiers involuntarily enrolled in this community must be far greater than anyone wants to imagine.

We have to keep in mind that all of these victims are children, including newborns, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, elementary schoolers, middle schoolers and high schoolers. By definition, they were not fully-formed, mature adults, and, because of the abuse they had to endure, until they have the opportunity to heal, they never will be. These are people who were preyed upon by those much larger and stronger than they were. These were little people in the land of malicious giants, and those giants held all the cards and control.

We must also consider what is the definition of abuse. To answer this, I always ask two questions. First, is the action in question age appropriate? While it may be appropriate to strongly scold a fourth grader who is playing with matches, I cannot think of any circumstances where one would be justified in yelling at a newborn. Also, I know of no circumstances where it is appropriate for an adult to engage in sexual behavior with children.

April 4, 2021 = Step 2: Reach

We will be reading these three paragraphs from Step 2 in the book Children Of Pain (pages 47-48), followed by time for participants to do 4 minute shares after each one is read:

If you’re ready to start step two you, then you’ve probably already asked yourself the following question: “Do I have to do the four steps in order?” The answer is no. Although they are listed as steps one through four, in practice, you can do them in any order you like, including doing more than one at the same time. You may find that one day you feel like concentrating on remembering memories, while the next you feel a desire to re-affirm your recognition that you survived childhood abuse. Perhaps, while working to reclaim control over your life, you have an urge to simultaneously reach out and reaffirm or strengthen your support. It’s your choice. Do what feels comfortable to you, when you are drawn to it. It’s your recovery. You choose your own path.

I have also found that it’s very helpful to take breaks. I’ve been working on my own personal recovery for over five decades now, and I have come to the point where I do it in three to six month increments, followed by a six month or so long break. While the recovery work gets more and more healing as I go, the time off is also invaluable as it gives a chance to think about what I’ve learned during my most recent exploration. These breaks allow me to think it over and fully absorb its meanings and benefits. When you feel ready, you may want to try these breaks, too. For now, though, let’s continue on with step two.

Reaching out for support is one of the key elements in any recovery process: 4-step, 12-step, or any other. Children of pain survivors suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which in most cases is complex PTSD that has plagued them for years, even decades. So, if you are a child of pain and have just started out in your recovery quest, then you’re already reaching out just by reading this book. And that’s great because, like I said at the beginning of this chapter, if you could have done it by yourself, then you already would have.

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OPEN SHARE: 2nd and 5th Sunday every month

Anyone can talk for 4 minutes and share anything they like which is related to surviving childhood abuse. No special materials are needed.

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GUEST SPEAKER: 3rd Sunday every month

A guest speaker will talk for up to 15 minutes about their life as a child of pain. The remainder of the meeting will be an open share. If you are interested in being a guest speaker, please contact Robert at the email address below. If you have never done this before and are not sure how to organize your talk, try this format:

for the first 5 minutes - give an outline of the abuse you survived

for the second 5 minutes - tell how the abuse impacted you

for the last 5 minutes - describe how you have learned to live in the present with your past

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EXERCISE WORKSHOP: 4th Sunday every month

March 28, 2021 = The Empty Picture Frame

We will be practicing The Empty Picture Frame exercise from the book Children Of Pain (pages 74-80). Instructions will be given at the beginning of the meeting on how to do this exercise, followed by a 10 minute independent practice time, and then 4 minute shares.

April 25, 2021 = Mosaic Patterning

We will be practicing the Mosaic Patterning exercise from the book Children Of Pain (pages 80-84). Instructions will be given at the beginning of the meeting on how to do this exercise, followed by a 10 minute independent practice time, and then 4 minute shares.

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for more information
contact robert at