Parental abandonment impacts a woman’s ability to trust her instincts. She often seeks validation and approval from others and outsources her authority. If this experience sounds familiar to you, you need to hear how Coach Donna uses three phases to help her clients reestablish their self-authority, self-trust, and counteract their negative thoughts.
Tune in this week to hear a continuation of my conversation with Coach Donna about the journey of restoring your wholeness after trauma. Although we discuss the trauma of being a fatherless daughter, what we’re sharing can be applied to any trauma you’ve experienced in your life because when you break free from old stories and feelings of unworthiness, you can step into your true self. Find out how in this episode.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia, episode 162.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Hello, hello, Diamonds. So good to have you back with me. And of course I have one of my favorite coaches, Coach Donna with me for part two of what we’ve been discussing in terms of creating your dream life, figuring out how to recover from trauma in the past, how to incorporate the scars. Because you talked about the scars, making you actually stronger in a lot of ways, more resilient in a lot of ways. And then I want to know more about when you have that resilience and you’ve kind of acknowledged the trauma and you’re at this point, what do you do from that point on?
So I’m going to let you take over and I’m just going to ask you questions as you go about having these conversations.
Donna: Fantastic, okay, and thank you for having me back and the chance to continue to share what we’re doing to support fatherless daughters. So again, that whole healing and wholeness for fatherless daughters and what is the outcome of that? And that’s kind of what we are talking about today, because when I work together with a client, we’re kind of going to move through three phases and those three phases are release, restore and renew.
Sonia: [Crosstalk] because I know that you focus on fatherless daughters. But this process can be for anybody that’s going through any type of [crosstalk] that they want to recover from and grow from, so you said?
Donna: Release, restore and renew. And you’re absolutely right, because the wound, we respond to the wound and the coping skills that we employ in response to the wound is what we’re healing from in these three phases. So we get back to us and we’re stepping into more positive coping skills that are really just how to do life as opposed to how to get away from our traumatic experience, if that makes sense. So this allows the individuals to release their old story and then step into who they were made to be.
And then we build the dream life and building of that dream life is natural for them. It comes because we get in touch with what we want, what we really want based on being reconnected to our inner authority. So individuals who have experienced trauma and even when they employ negative coping skills, coping mechanisms, if you will, just for just trying to survive. They have a full host of amazing skills, amazing leadership skills, resilience, strength, again that inner authority, determination.
They are really, when these things are applied, they are unstoppable. Unfortunately, what very often stops them is all the thoughts rattling around in their brain about unworthiness, and who do you think you are and self-doubt. And that’s what causes us to put the brakes on. So imagine what we can achieve when we quiet that noise in our head. And that’s really no longer driving the conversation for us.
And we can just have our foot on the accelerator so that those amazing capabilities and the skills I listed can just be employed. Then they’re fabulous leaders and they do amazing work for themselves, for others, They’re fantastic parents and they have a tremendous influence in the world when they can put their foot on the accelerator and go.
Sonia: So what I’m hearing you say is this is about self-identity, shifting your self-identity. So you can get to a place of comfort so that you’re not using all your mind energy and thought energy to counteract all these negative thoughts that might be in your head. You do that work, you get to that place of restoring who you really should be, which is another way of saying, creating that self-identity the way that you want it to be and then kind of go from there.
So I love how you talk about resilience and strength and inner authority and determination. I think most of us understand, but inner authority, what exactly do you mean by that?
Donna: That is when you know and you trust that you know. And so instead of, for example, you’re like, “Well, okay, you guys are the expert”, but you know. When you yourself know and have an instinct, have an awareness, have a knowledge and you trust you, you trust what you know, you trust your intuition and you speak up for it and you give it a voice. I believe we begin negotiating with that inner authority very early on when we have a traumatic experience and then we start thinking, what did I do or if only I had done this or not done that. If I could just make them happy, they’ll stop.
Or again, in the context of fatherless daughters and even in the broader context of parental abandonment, those parents can be right there and be gone. And so we experience as children, trying to please, trying to get our needs met, shifting ourselves to try to be what they need us to be so we can get what we need to be. And there, I think, that was a moment where we begin negotiating and negotiating away our own inner authority and belief in ourselves and we start trading that self-doubt.
And that’s the thing for a child so young is it’s hard for them to reason at that level. We as adults can reason at that level, but even when we’re living out the wound instead of living from the scar, we’re still kind of living as that wounded child. And so it still may be at 45 and 35 and 65 hard for us to speak up for ourselves, to believe we deserve better or more.
Sonia: So what I’m hearing you say is that we kind of traded our self-authority, our inner authority in order for safety. It was kind of an exchange, if I give up, and we can now see there’s these little crazy toddlers roaming around doing their thing and you can’t stop them, they’re kind of crazy. And then society and our parents say, “You have to act a certain way or be a certain way or to get the approval.” That we have to kind of shift into the role that they have kind of designated for us in order for us to stay safe.
And especially if you’re coming from a place where there’s a traumatic background or abandonment or something like that where you start saying, “Okay, what did I do wrong that played into this?” And so that’s where we end up trading or paying for ‘safety’ by giving up our inner authority. So part of this restoration is gaining that back again so we have our own back and really learn to trust ourselves. I think this is really key.
Donna: Absolutely. Literally, yes, trusting yourself. We as just the humans we are, desire love, belonging, safety. And those are kinds of things that we begin negotiating for just like you described. We do it for safety. We do it for love and belonging. My generation, or at least I can say my mother’s generation and my grandparents used the phrase. So I’m a generation that was on the receiving end of this. Children should be seen and not heard and shush, sit over here, do this, do that.
And there’s a place for that to a degree but there’s a message in that. And then shifting all the way so that the family entirely revolves around children, I don’t think is a solution either. But I think just being aware of the language we use to our children, not constantly policing ourselves but where are we speaking from? Are we speaking from frustration and we’re stressed and short tempered? So just like, “Stop bothering me”, versus are you saying your child is a bother? Are you flat out saying your child is a bother or does your child know that you’re on their side?
Here’s another thing I completely believe. I completely believe that every child that grows up is going to be coaching or on therapy, even for the very best parents on the planet. So everything that happens to kids and how they interpret things cannot be laid on the parents’ head. So I do want to be clear that I’m not pointing necessarily a finger, but certainly my clients are clients who have been abandoned and they’re dealing with the daddy wound, so please go ahead.
Sonia: What I’m also thinking about as I hear you say this is, it gets to a point in our life where we’ve been civilized, where we’ve been socialized. And what might have been external at one point, what might have been said to us at one point is now internalized and we can say it to ourselves. So whatever was said to us as a child, as an adult, we may be still saying some sort of version of that.
So this is where the thought work and the coaching comes in because we get to look at what we’re actually saying to ourselves and evaluate if that’s what we want to continue saying to ourselves. Do we want to shift it around so we regain that inner authority, regain that self-esteem? We can release the energy that we have to use first, and maybe not saying nice things to ourselves and then rejecting it.
We eventually get to this point where we have a lot of self-compassion. And we can be at that place and that’s kind of what I’m hearing is at least part of the restore, does that sound like what you’re saying? Let me know.
Donna: Absolutely, self-compassion and that is a part of the breakthrough process that I use with clients. In a nutshell, it’s a breakthrough process. And exactly that, there are tapes, so to speak, there are things we heard as kids and then those tapes play over and over in our brains and then notice, my friends, whose voice is it now?
And very commonly, as we get older, it’s our own voice saying the same thing, saying things like, “I’ve really never been good with money.” Really? Would you like to start being good with money? Does that mean you can never be good with money? I invite people to be an observer of their lives, what they’re saying and what they’re doing because exactly that, are they perpetuating the lie that was shared as a child and now they’re the ones playing it over and over? And once again, this is not finger pointing. This is fabulous news because that means you get to control it.
Sonia: Yeah, I get to do something about it.
Donna: You’re playing the tape. If you’re playing the tape then you can turn, you can turn it off. And this is an old metaphor right now, because I’m thinking of the cassette tape. My nieces, the only ones they’ve ever seen are the ones in my brother’s house or my house, what is that? Yeah, I know. You can pull that tape out. You can rewind it and play over it. That’s the great news that you can do something about it now. It is never too late.
Sonia: I love that idea that you can re-record, you can re-record over it. And I remember somebody telling me, not you, but another one of my coaching friends that you actually have a tape or an audio or something that she listened to and she got a lot of benefit from because it helped her. Would you be willing to share that and give us a link to that? Is that something you’d be willing to do?
Donna: I’d love to, yeah, it’s called Incredible Self-Esteem. So it’s a hypnosis audio and really you just listen to it in a safe place. You’re not listening to it while you’re driving, because you get super relaxed as you listen to it, that’s all. And I would love to offer that to any of your listeners. And so we can put a link to that. Yeah, thank you for that because what a great gift for people to tap into that, to use that and even let that very single thing have an impact. I’d be honored.
Sonia: Okay. Actually I think we’re going to stop here because our last one was about release. This one is about restore, restoring the self-esteem. And then I want the next one, so it actually sounds like there’s going to be a part three. I’m just coming up with this as I go. [Crosstalk] on the dream because this section was so amazing that I don’t want to just go over it quickly. I really want to talk about the fact that this is the part where we recreate ourselves and with our self-identity, self-esteem, self-identity. We focus on that and we get to this place.
So if we’re just talking about the restore part of things. What factors go into the restore that we might not have talked about? Before we end this podcast episode, and we go on to the third one at some point, which is all about the dream life and the renew.
Donna: Got it, yeah.
Sonia: So tell us what you would like my Diamonds to know in terms about restore, get back to your self-identity?
Donna: Yeah, getting back to your self-identity, sometimes I think of this as just kind of getting back to the neutral, my clients, they don’t leap from being way over here to way over here. We do the release and we come kind of back to neutral, to a place without the angst, to a place without this inner turmoil or inner chasing and you’re comfortable just being. And then with the restore, once you begin seeing, here are things that can naturally fall away. And then I’ll explain why.
Feelings of guilt and shame, low confidence, low self-esteem, the imposter syndrome. And here’s why. Because we’re not being us. We shifted in order to survive based on our perception of an event or events. And so we have been living out whatever we felt was needed from a reactive state. So there’s a degree to which absolutely, yeah, I feel like an impostor, because you are. Because you’re not genuinely you, not because you’re not a good doctor or a good salesperson or a good parent or whatever field of study you’re in or even a good student. You’re not fully you. So yeah, you’re a bit of an impostor.
Sonia: So of course I’m a sex coach. And I feel like people show up with this imposter syndrome in the bedroom as well. I feel like they show up as a shell of themselves as a sexual being. They show up with a concept or an idea of what somebody else might want them to be sexually or how they show up sexually in the bedroom. Focus on other people, maybe not focus on themselves. Definitely not knowing how to ask for what they want.
So can you relate a little bit and I know I’m putting you on the spot, but can you relate a little bit about imposter syndrome and sexuality and showing up in the bedroom?
Donna: Yeah, so, absolutely and I love how you talked about, brought that up because it is so interwoven. There’s not an area of our life that goes untouched by this. Why? Because we’re living every area of our life in this manner. And so when you live out guessing what people want from you, guessing what people want you to be, and very often you’re not asking that. You’re putting out feelers when you walk into a room, when you walk into an office, when you meet new friends, new acquaintances, professional, even socially.
You’re like, “What part of me is going to fit here? And then what part do I need to project so that I fit here?” And so the very same thing in the bedroom, when we have a greater focus coming on, someone else placed on someone else’s needs because our need is to fit in and to belong. And we’ve got the message that I have to be something different than I am in order to belong, but nobody really finished answering that for me, so I’m guessing.
And so we might guess in the bedroom. And we might guess in the bedroom by being a little more, I’m going to say flexible, not necessarily flexible in a good way, but it could be. And then it’s like, okay, what did I expect here? You may just be trying to be a blank canvas and then get your cues from your partner. What does your partner want? And this, I’ve had clients talk about performing for their partners and in this case the ones I’m thinking of were male.
They were looking for their identity and being accepted and valued and wanted, and interpreting that as worth. And so they were kind of up for whatever their partner asked for. And then they eventually began to realize then their partner was in it for, because she would do what they asked. And there really wasn’t this mutual exchange of love and intimacy.
And so when you show up as you then you also come with boundaries and that doesn’t interest me but this does or okay, I’m willing to try that. And you’re willing to have conversations versus just showing up and taking your cues from your partner and then your needs are not necessarily met.
Sonia: Yeah. So I’m thinking this is all about women being trained as sexual objects. You talk about blank canvas, that is somebody where they’re not the sexual subject. they’re not the one focused on their own sexuality, what their own needs are, using their own voice to ask, if you ask somebody. A lot of women might not even know what they want because they don’t know that they have the permission. They have the ability to voice what they want, figure out what they want and go forth from there.
And you talk about boundaries. Well, our society doesn’t teach women that we have sexual boundaries. It doesn’t teach women that we get to ask for what we want. It doesn’t teach women that we get to be a sexual subject and we get to enjoy sex and ask for it. If we do, then there’s a number of names, derogatory names that teach us that that’s not what this is about. That’s not what sexuality is about. Sexuality is about being a sexual object and pleasing somebody else.
Donna: As opposed to sexuality, yeah.
Sonia: Yeah. So definitely when we get to that place where we’re talking about restore, we are talking about restoring self-identity overall but sexual self-identity as well.
Donna: That would certainly be part of it, yeah, because that’s a part of our lives, absolutely. The wound. that my clients live out of and so this may speak to a number of your listeners, but it just can depend on their trauma and their experience. But my clients will do almost anything to not re-experience abandonment. And so if I please you and you are happy with me, whether that’s your employer, you’re a waitress, for heaven’s sake, or your lover or parent or a sibling or a teacher, it doesn’t matter.
If I please you then I belong here and I’m safe and you want me around then that inversely means I’m not abandoned, I’m not alone. [Crosstalk].
Sonia: That I’m worthy in some way, I’m worthy of value, of love and stuff like that. Yeah, so good. Alright, so we’re going to wrap up this session and any last words on restore that you want our Diamonds to know about?
Donna: Mercy. It kind of almost flows naturally out of, after the release. And the restore is again, back to you, restoring to who you were born to be. And we talked a little bit before, there’s not suddenly you’re not going to show up as a whole other person that nobody on the planet recognizes. You show up as more of the best of you.
Donna: I love that. You show up as more of the best of you. You show up as more of your authentic self. I love that. Alright, Coach Donna, thank you so much. And I want everybody to know that Coach Donna does coach in the Lit Clit Club. So we always get to see her and her amazing coaching. So come join us in the Lit Clit Club. And we also have some gifts for you that are down in the show notes, so feel free to click on those as well. Okay, so good to see you all.
Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds, have you heard the amazing news? Dr. Sonia, that would be me and my amazing team has started a sex coaching and life coaching monthly membership program called The Lit Clit Club. The Lit Clit Club was made just for you. It’s a safe place where women can come to create the lives that they want, the lives that you want. It’s a place where you get to talk openly about your sexual concerns and be heard. There’s no judgment, no reprimand, no labels, just acceptance, knowledge and freedom.
It’s a place where you get to ask all the questions that you ever wanted to ask about sex and about life too. You get to dream big and create your life your way inside and outside the bedroom. You know I love the concept of creating the life that you want inside and outside the bedroom, that soul bursting life that you deserve. So come to the club for the sexual intimacy coaching and stay for the empowerment and the freedom.
Do you have questions about libido, menopause? Lord help us, menopause is no joke. Sexual health, relationships, sexual orientation, pleasure equality and orgasms, religion and intimacy? I am not finished with this list yet. Maybe you have questions about toys, maybe about non-monogamy. Perhaps you’re interested in BDSM, maybe self-love, self-pleasure. Maybe you have questions about self-orientation. Maybe you need to work on healing from trauma.
Maybe body image is something that you want to focus more on and definitely embodiment. Perhaps creating the life of your dreams or journeying to your authentic self. Maybe you just want to stop people pleasing. Whatever questions you have and concerns you have, we have the answers and the coaching that you need. In all actuality, you have the answers inside of you. And the coaching will help bring that out. And you know what? You get to choose how you want to be coached.
You can be coached by video, by audio only or you can use the questions and answers session, it’s whatever works for you. You get to sit back and relax and get the help that you need and your cameras are off. And every month we have a new workshop in addition to our regular coaching sessions. So click on the link below in the show notes and find out more about The Lit Clit Club. We can’t wait to see you there in the club, come join us. Things are just starting to heat up. Alright, Dr. Sonia out. Love you all, Diamonds.