What To Expect When You're Healing

What To Expect When You're Healing

swanwaters.com
Welcome to What To Expect When You’re Healing (formerly SwanWaters Healing Podcast) your guide to self-empowered healing in the aftermath of abuse. We’ll help you gain insight, learn practical skills and navigate your healing journey and transform from survivor to thriver. All the resources and ideas shared here and on the SwanWaters website are based on our personal experiences and learning. Swanwaters.com is a place where you can meet your peers for support and advice: http://swanwaters.com


Identified Patient
Nov 8 • 58 min
In this podcast from 26 August 2015, we delve into the concept of the Identified Patient. The term is used in family therapy to describe the situation where one family member is labelled as “the problem child”, and has all of the family issues projected…
How Does Resilience Help With Life’s Big Stuff?
Oct 28 • 42 min
Resiliency Essentials: Resiliency is our ability to deal with BIG Stuff. We create more successful outcomes the more resilient we are, despite the obstacles and heartaches we all face in life. Originally recorded in June 2016 As survivors of abuse, we…
Building Confidence and Courage
Oct 11 • 8 min
In today’s episode I respond to a quote I found recently: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.” Dale Carnegie - Fear and insecurity can freeze us into place - Fear will not go away by staring at it - You can start with…
How Mags Realised Her Family Was Abusive
Oct 9 • 30 min
I recorded this 30-minute podcast a few years ago. In it, I share my own story of becoming conscious of the abusive situation I was in, and how that lead me to cut all contact with my family. Want to learn more about escaping an abusive situation? Check…
Co-Parenting with a Toxic Person - Part 2
Sep 27 • 29 min
This podcast was originally recorded in 2015. This is part 2 of 2. Being a parent is never an easy thing to do, and co-parenting after a divorce is even harder. But co-parenting with a toxic person? It is probably impossible… Still, there are ways in…
Co-Parenting with a Toxic Person - Part 1
Sep 13 • 33 min
This podcast was originally recorded in 2015, and is part 1 of 2. Being a parent is never an easy thing to do, and co-parenting after a divorce is even harder. But co-parenting with a toxic person? It is probably impossible… Still, there are ways in which…
E76 - Rewriting The Narrative
Aug 18 • 16 min
When we are addressing triggers and trying to heal from traumatic experiences, we need to change the stories we tell ourselves. Have you ever had an extremely emotional response to something that turned out to be pretty trivial? Well, looking back at that…
E75 - What Aubrey Learned About Managing Triggers
Jul 21 • 25 min
In the PTSD module in The Healing Academy, I share strategies Aubrey taught me for coping with my triggers. She based those strategies on the work she did in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook, a resource she still recommend to anyone…
E74 An Introduction to PTSD and Toxic Relationships
Jun 23 • 64 min
In this podcast Aubrey and Mags (under her previous screen name Monkey) talk about everything from what it is, to how it can manifest. Links to Resources: Effects of Domestic Violence by the Joyful Heart Foundation. And also important to remember is that…
E73 - Building A New Life
Jun 2 • 4 min
Note: This audio was recorded as a Facebook Live, and it’s not the best I’ve ever recorded. However, I felt the message was worth sharing. When leaving abuse, we undoubtedly leave a whole life behind. We have to redefine so much of who we are and how we…
E72 - Embracing The Imperfection
May 26 • 6 min
However hard you try, however much you prepare and try to control your circumstances, even under the best of circumstances, your life is not going to be perfect. Main Take Away: * Just because things are not the way you’d dreamed, or wished, or imagined,…
E71 - Compassion Grows Compassion
May 19 • 7 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags discusses the way that we can be our own worst enemies (and that we need to be more compassionate toward ourselves in our healing journey). Many survivors find it easier to show compassion to other…
E70 - From Victim To Survivor
May 12 • 8 min
In this episode of The Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about making the escape from abuse. Learn how to make the transition from victim of abuse to survivor and overcomer. Main Take-Aways As long as you hold onto the notion that life is happening…
E69 - The Story of Aubrey Cole and Captain Crazy
May 5 • 88 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks with fellow SwanWaters team member Aubrey Cole about her experience of living in an abusive relationship for 25 years, how she left, and what she has done to help other survivors since. Main…
E68 - Focus On Yourself
Apr 28 • 6 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about how easy it is to fall into focusing all your energy on the person who abused you. While it’s totally natural, it’s not going to serve you in the long-run. Know that it IS possible to…
E67 - Having The Feels
Apr 21 • 7 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about the way we get too hard on ourselves when we’re experiencing lots of emotion during the healing journey. Main Take-Aways: • You can feel conflicting emotions at the same time. E.g.like…
E66 - The Pendulum Swing
Apr 14 • 8 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about the back and forth of emotional experiences, behaviors, and beliefs when you heal. Main Takeaways: • When you’re healing, you can go from being lax about boundaries, for example, to being…
E65 - Healing In Circles
Apr 7 • 12 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags discusses the way that healing often requires you to go back over the same painful territory. And usually at a deeper level because you haven’t dealt with certain aspects of it yet. Main Take-Aways •…
E64 - The Not So Subtle Art Of Healing
Mar 31 • 8 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about the fact that healing is often quite an in-your-face process. But that, given time, it can become intriguing—rather than only painful and exhausting. Main Take-Aways • Healing is less…
E63 - Time For A Break
Mar 10 • 7 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about why the SwanWaters team is taking a two-week break from social media between March 18 - April 1, 2019 (no April’s Fools jokes here lol). Main Take-Aways: • We’re always talking about how…
E62 - Healing Is A Verb
Mar 3 • 5 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags talks about how you have to participate in your own healing or nothing’s going to change. Main Take-Aways: • Healing doesn’t just magically happen: it’s somthing you DO • You can join all the support…
E61 - Quality Over Quantity
Feb 24 • 8 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags asks the question, “What if, instead of rushing to do as many things as possible in our day, we slow down and do less, but with greater care and more intent.” The Main Take-Aways • Multi-tasking…
E60 - Productivity In Healing
Feb 17 • 6 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags discusses the way we take the capitalist value of productivity over humanity into our healing journey with us. Main Take-Aways • You can’t heal to a schedule. You do it in your own time as you…
E58 - Brainwashing You For Good
Feb 3 • 7 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags discusses the importance of getting around people who can help you recalibrate your thinking in order to heal after abuse. And also to transform the way you think in order to see the world (and…
E57 - Carrie Stages a Hostile Podcast Take-Over
Jan 27 • 69 min
Inspired by The Life After Podcast episode where Chuck Parson interviewed Brady Hardin, Carrie staged a hostile takeover of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast to talk to SwanWaters director Mags Thomson about the origins of the organization, her own survivor…
E56 - House of Mirrors
Jan 20 • 29 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags and Carrie reflect on a piece Stewart (Mags’ husband) wrote about his experience with her toxic family. - Main Take-Aways • When you’re aware that the abusive person in your life likes to drive…
E55 - Setting Yourself Up For Success
Jan 14 • 6 min
So often, as soon as we wake up our mind flood with everything that we should be doing that day. All the chores and tasks that are on our mental to-do list. From the moment we wake up, we find ourselves in a state of overwhelm, because (if you are…
E54 - Make Your Chores Count
Jan 6 • 12 min
When we think about self-care and healing, we often feel overwhelmed at the prospect of adding more things to our all ready overflowing to-do list. So if we can’t add more to the list, how can we make the items that are already on there really count? The…
E53 - Productivity In Healing
Nov 25, 2018 • 8 min
In this episode of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast, Mags explores the idea of slowing down to heal—rather than rushing because you think you think you “should” be more healed by now. Main Take-Aways • It’s not self-compassionate or realistic to expect that…
E52 - Oppressive Religion & Religious Trauma Syndrome
Nov 19, 2018 • 82 min
Before you get started with today’s episode, I just wanted to address the fact that we are going to be talking about religion today. Religion is usually something we stay clear of because this topic is quite triggering for us and other survivors of…
E51 - Two Things Can Be True At Once
Nov 12, 2018 • 10 min
In this episode, Mags addresses the temptation we have to exclude one truth in favor of another—as though they can’t both be an honest representation of reality. Main Take-Aways • We can experience seemingly contradictory emotions at once. For example,…
E50 - The Blissful World Where the Narcissist Is Never To Blame
Nov 5, 2018 • 34 min
In this episode Carrie and I talk about an old blog post entitled: The Blissful World Where the Narcissist Is Never To Blame. You can find the post here: https://swanwaters.com/the-blissful-world-where-the-narcissist-is-never-to-blame/ We also reference a…
E49 - The Best Revenge
Oct 29, 2018 • 8 min
I saw a meme recently that gave me a bit of a giggle. It said: Not giving a fuck, is better than revenge! The more PC version of that is probably: the best revenge is no revenge. That inspired me to talk about revenge today, and how it relates to your…
E48 - The Passing of My Father
Oct 22, 2018 • 20 min
In this episode, I revisit a blog post I wrote two years ago about abusive parents passing away. It was inspired by my friend S who lost her toxic mother, and I wondered how I’d respond when it would inevitably happen to me. Well, a few months ago, it…
E47 - The Terrifying Euphoria
Oct 15, 2018 • 12 min
Today I talk about the Terrifying Euphoria, a concept I reference a lot. It is something that I feel we often encounter in our healing journey. - We sometimes identify with the trauma we have encountered in our lives - As harmful as abuse is, it is…
E44 - Road Trip of Narcissistic Abuse
Sep 24, 2018 • 39 min
This week I am joined my spiritual mentor and energy healer Jacqui McGinn. We talk about the effects of narcissistic abuse and focus especially on belief, disbelief, and mindset. - Disbelief is equally powerful as belief - Emotional abuse lacks tangible…
E43 - The Villain Is So Good at Playing the Victim
Sep 17, 2018 • 30 min
Carrie Maya and I read an old blog post of mine and comment on how our insights have developed over the years. Here is the original blog post from February 20, 2016: http://swanwaters.com/playing-the-victim/ —- Send in a voice message:…
E42 - Moving Through Emotions When Overwhelmed
Sep 3, 2018 • 9 min
SwanWaters team member Carrie Maya talks you through her process as she deals with emotional overwhelm (it’s real-time!) - Where are you feeling the emotion? - What is the emotion you are feeling? - What is at the root of the feeling? - Once you identify…
E38 - You Are My Sunshine
Aug 31, 2018 • 2 min
In this episode I share a little trick I used (and still use) to quiet those nasty voices in my head that tell me I am not good enough, not worthy of love… After recording this episode I came across this Instagram post, and fell in love with it:…
E41 - Relationships with Others and Yourself
Aug 27, 2018 • 9 min
Today’s episode was originally recorded as a Facebook Live. I answer the questions left for me in the Facebook Group. I talk about building and maintaining relationships and friendships. - We may have learned toxic relationship tools in the past - Our…
E40 - Mistake or Abuse
Aug 20, 2018 • 11 min
Sometimes we say the wrong thing, we make someone feel uncomfortable, insecure or just plain bad. We don’t mean to, but we cannot always predict how others will react. We are not always 100% switched on to our own emotional state, our tone of voice, and…
E39 - Welcome to the Human Race
Aug 13, 2018 • 7 min
Have you considered that some of your responses are not part of being a survivor of abuse, but simply the result of being part of the human race? - Everybody gets stressed, anxious or worried sometimes - Your lizard brain responds with the Flight, Fight…
E37 - Celebrate Your Progress
Jul 30, 2018 • 6 min
Healing is a learning curve, and it takes time and practice to get better at it. *** We repeat what we don’t repair – Christine Langley – Obaugh *** - STOP kicking yourself - See and celebrate your progress - Learning takes practice (unfortunately) —-…
E36 - Overthinking
Jul 27, 2018 • 7 min
We were discussing the habit of overthinking in the SwanWaters Facebook Group. I wanted to give you my perspective and share some tools on how to deal with this. - Figure out who the voice belongs to - Let go of voices that no longer serve you - Use…
E35 - Mindfulness and Healing with Bob Brotchie; part 2
Jul 15, 2018 • 29 min
Bob Brotchie and I have both benefited from mindfulness while overcoming the effects of childhood trauma. We share our experiences in this podcast and give you the basics of starting a mindfulness practice of your own. This podcast is a little longer than…
E34 - Mindfulness and Healing with Bob Brotchie; part 1
Jul 15, 2018 • 23 min
Bob Brotchie and I have both benefited from mindfulness while overcoming the effects of childhood trauma. We share our experiences in this podcast and give you the basics of starting a mindfulness practice of your own. This podcast is a little longer than…
E33 – 3 Myths about PTSD
Jul 15, 2018 • 5 min
PTSD is a natural response to trauma, just as bleeding is a normal response to being stabbed. This is a vital point actually. So often we feel like we are going crazy and some people feel a sense of shame for developing PTSD. Would you feel that same…
E32 - You Are Loved; a response to the passing of Anthony Bourdain
Jul 15, 2018 • 9 min
This is my response on the day of hearing about Anthony Bourdain’s passing. It is an emotional appeal to reach out to your loved ones and let them know they are loved unconditionally. We need to have a conversation as people, as human beings, about how we…
E31 - Emotional Flashbacks in PTSD
Jul 15, 2018 • 7 min
Realizing that flashbacks could be emotional, and did not have to be disassociative in any other sense of the word, I started to better understand what was happening when I was triggered. That in turn, helped we to better manage my PTSD symptoms. Let me…
E30 – Feel the Pain
Jul 15, 2018 • 7 min
As much as we’d like to just stop feeling the pain and the grief in our lives, we can’t just pretend it’s not there. In order to heal it, we need to feel it. And we need to talk about it. If not, it’ll come to bite us in the tush. - Pushing pain away…
E29 - You Are Lovable
Jul 15, 2018 • 5 min
In the aftermath of Mother’s Day (this podcast was originally posted on 14 May 2018), you may need a reminder that you are -in fact- entirely lovable. - Happy healthy people do not abuse other people - Their trauma does not excuse the abuser, but it may…
E28 – To Should List
Jul 15, 2018 • 7 min
This episode of the pint-sized healing podcast looks at personal efficiency and how our obsession with to-do lists may cause us to feel a lot of guilt. There are so many things we feel we should do, and then when we fail to complete our unrealistic list…
E27 - Mother’s Day Is Coming
Jul 15, 2018 • 6 min
In this episode, I talk to you about Mother’s Day (it was originally published on 30 April 2018) and give you some alternative ways to celebrate the day if you are a survivor of maternal abuse (or if you just want to switch it up). - Take a break from…
E26 – Use Ceremony to Let Go
Jul 15, 2018 • 6 min
Letting go is an important step of healing, but one we often do not mark or celebrate. Creating a ceremony when you are ready to let go of pain, is an amazing tool in your healing. - Healing isn’t linear - Letting go is the final step, one we sometimes…
E25 – Harness the Power of Positive
Jul 15, 2018 • 7 min
Let’s talk about the power of positive thought. Not the frantically trying to think negative thoughts type, but actual positivity. - Writing down positive experiences helps us remember them - A focus on positive can help us experience more positive things…
E24 – Dont Let Your Past Define You
Jul 15, 2018 • 8 min
Once we get out of an abusive situation it can be difficult to remember who we are outside of that narrative. But, holding on to our past may get us stuck in victim mode. - Use your experience as a foundation, rather than an anchor - Use a SWOT analysis…
E23 – Strategize to Influence Your Circumstances
Jul 15, 2018 • 6 min
This is the third and final step of my strategy for communicating with people I know are toxic. - Create the circumstances where you can use your communicative strength - An abuser will actively pursue to keep you off your game - Also, acknowledge your…
E22 – Find Your Power
Jul 15, 2018 • 5 min
This is the second step of three that I use when dealing with someone who is toxic. - Find out where your strength lies - Respond in a way that makes you feel empowered —- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/swanwaters/message
E21 - Responding With Peace
Jul 15, 2018 • 7 min
This is the first step of three that I use when having to deal with someone who I know is toxic. - When we react emotionally we are more easily manipulated - Find a way to return to calm by venting the emotion - Practicing a standard response can help…
E20 - The Rules Do Not Apply
Jul 13, 2018 • 6 min
A little while ago, I was listening to Heather Dane’s Hay House Radio show when her guest Arielle Ford—a relationship expert—shared a disclaimer that I think we should see far more often when talking about interpersonal relationships. And it is the…
E19 – Self-Care and Self Compassion
Jul 13, 2018 • 7 min
Raise your hand if you do this: when you do something to look after yourself you have a huge guilt trip? Is there part of you that things looking after yourself in selfish? Then this is the episode for you! - You can’t pour from an empty cup - Self-care…
E18 – Self Care When You Do Not Feel You Can
Jul 13, 2018 • 25 min
Today I am joined by Christine Judd. She is a holistic business mentor, author, yoga teacher and Lomi Lomi practitioner. Her journey through depression has led her to explore various different treatment approaches from medical to woo woo. She’s launching…
E17 – Creative Ways to Self Care
Jul 13, 2018 • 8 min
Once you start thinking of self-care as a way to look after different aspects of your being, you open yourself up to creative ways to self-care. - Make your bed - Dress to impress (and start with nice undies!) - Declutter! - Give some of your former…
E16 - What Self-Care Is and Isn’t
Jul 13, 2018 • 5 min
People often think of self-care as bubble baths and fancy chocolates, but I think that a much too narrow definition of the concept. - Many people see self-care as picking ourselves up after we collapse - Self-care should be about not collapsing -…
E15 – Toxicity Breeds Toxicity
Jul 13, 2018 • 8 min
We see this a lot in toxic relationships. I have certainly witnessed it in the family I grew up in. With our parents constantly attacking our boundaries, my sisters and I developed a defense mechanism: a set of unhealthy attitudes and behavior we…
E14 – Sometimes 1 Big Boundary Is Easier
Jul 13, 2018 • 6 min
Sometimes it is easier to just put down one big boundary rather than 100 little, individual ones. The biggest of all big boundaries is obviously No Contact, but I understand that isn’t always an option. Even on a smaller scale, sometimes it’s easier to…
E13 – You May Not Be Bad At Boundaries
Jul 12, 2018 • 5 min
You might not feel very comfortable with doing it, but in reality, setting boundaries is about communicating what you want and don’t want. I think on average, targets (who are often empaths) tend to be fairly strong communicators. We may often go into…
E12 – Boundaries Are Not Selfish
Jul 12, 2018 • 8 min
If we were to believe abusers and toxic people, then enforcing boundaries is the most selfish act in the world; personal boundaries should be outlawed, and anyone who even considers enforcing them should be hanged for their crimes. But are boundaries…
E11 – Compassionate Goal Setting
Jul 12, 2018 • 7 min
This podcast was originally posted on 1 January 2018, so I do talk about New Year’s Resolutions… but the good news is that compassionate goal setting is something you can do all year round! - Goal setting can be so useful in healing (and many other areas…
E10 - It Is All In Your Head
Jul 11, 2018 • 7 min
This episode was originally published on 25 December 2017, that’s why there are a fair few Christmas references… What I am talking about though, is how we sometimes project too many thoughts and expectations on certain days and events. - The magic of…
E9 – React or Respond, Emotional Mastery
Jul 11, 2018 • 6 min
What if you didn’t have to be a slave to your emotions? Wouldn’t that be great? Well, I think that this is very much possible! - Don’t try to cover up or push emotions down - Self-awareness can help manage our emotions - Just because an emotion comes up,…
E8 – Failing at Failure
Jul 11, 2018 • 5 min
Failure is hard! In fact, I think failure may be the thing you fail at most… In this episode, I talk about failure and how it feeds into our feelings of guilt and our self-image. - Mistakes are not failure - Adjusted life plans are not failure —- Send in…
E7 – Loneliness and the Expectation of Company
Jul 11, 2018 • 5 min
The episode where I mention what my first ever boyfriend taught me about loneliness. This episode was first published on 3 December 2017, and talks about loneliness during the holidays. - Loneliness is the expectation of company that isn’t met - We may…
E6 – Angry Or Not Here I Come
Jul 11, 2018 • 7 min
In this episode, I talk about anger. It is an emotion that is often pushed away and misunderstood. - Society seems to tell us not to be angry - Be angry, don’t be angry… it’s up to you - Feel it, but don’t hold on to the anger! —- Send in a voice message:…
E5 – Fleas and Allergies
Jul 10, 2018 • 5 min
Last week we spoke about triggers. This week I explain how triggers can influence us in different ways. - You may have copied some toxic behaviors - You may experience emotional flashbacks —- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/swanwaters/message
E4 – Embrace Your Triggers
Jul 10, 2018 • 6 min
Today I talk about an inconvenient truth of trauma healing… you may not want to hear this, but you are going to have to! - Triggers highlight where we still need to heal - It is okay to be triggered and to feel raw - We need to learn dealing with our…
E3 - Personal Growth Paradox
Jul 10, 2018 • 6 min
Have you ever wondered how you are supposed to be happy with who you are, while at the same time strive for personal growth? Yeah, so have I! - Acceptance is important - So is the drive to want to improve ourselves - Healing isn’t la-di-da - Strive to…
E2 - Abuse Is Not Personal but Personalized
Jul 10, 2018 • 3 min
Different abusive strategies and weapons are used by abusers to make you feel that what is happening to you is personal. It is not! It is however personalized. - Abuse is adjusted to impact you as much as possible - Abuse is abuse, no matter what the…
E1 - Abuse is About Power
Jul 10, 2018 • 6 min
No matter the setting or weapon of choice, abuse is always about power. In this episode I discuss: - What is at the root of abuse - Different abusive tactics - Different abusive relationships —- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/swanwaters/message