From Shame to Empowerment: Support for Partners of Trauma Survivors – guest podcast with Jane Clapp

A few years ago, in the early part of seeking trauma support for my husband, I began to experience an unsettling feeling. It was kind of like a heavy wool blanket. The type that feels good when you want to sleep but not the feeling when you have a lot to do and need to be alert.

As a couple, we were facing obstacles in finding therapy for him. Therapists said they worked with trauma but, at the time, finding clinicians who knew the term ‘complex’ with trauma was just starting. It was a challenging time as we sought to find resources to support him.*

Gradually, I began to notice that I was inwardly pulling back. I began to share less with friends about our journey. I didn’t want people to know the struggles we were facing because it should be easy to find a therapist, right? But it wasn’t. As I did not know anyone else in my situation, I began to keep it to myself.

I was concerned about my mental health too.

Why was I withdrawing? Why was I struggling? My mind reasoned it was not our fault we couldn’t find help but my emotions said otherwise. The heavy feeling persisted.

One morning, I woke up and knew I needed to figure out what was going on with me. I was on my computer and immediately, a blog post a friend had posted jumped at me. It was by Jane Clapp and it the blog post talked about shame.

At that moment, I knew the heaviness was. The emotion I was experiencing was shame.

Thankfully, once unmasked, shame left the room. Shame left me. Identifying it brought immediate relief. I breathed deeply, my shoulders relaxed, and I smiled in delight at my discovery of this enemy. I could feel the truth.

Heather Tuba. Shame, Courage, and Saying Goodbye

Little did I know, Jane and I would soon meet in person. Since then, I have been her client, taken several of her online courses, and am enrolled in her Movement for Trauma program.

I was honoured to recently guest on her podcast, Clapp with Jane. We talk about my story of overcoming shame, the challenges in accessing support for both trauma survivors and supporters, and why boundaries are extra complex in relationships where one or both has trauma.