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Peer Support Specialist

What is a peer support specialist? How is one considered a peer? Does the trauma need to be the same? Does the healing need to be the same? Does any of it truly need to be the same for it to be considered peer support? There’s a sense of understanding when one considers themselves a peer. There’s a sense of validation, compassion, and empathy. There’s an unspoken trust between people who are healing from trauma and those who identify as their peer. It’s lived experience that makes us peers.

Healing through the trauma I experienced was never met with peer support. Nobody identified with me or validated my feelings through my journey of self-awareness, self-healing, and self-expression. I didn’t have peer support. I started, struggled with, and finished the healing process by myself. It’s given me strength in my adult life. It’s powerful to identify the healing that’s come from my trauma; it’s empowering really. Because of that, I consider myself a peer. I consider myself a specialist.

Being a peer specialist doesn’t necessarily mean we are the same age, have the same ethnic background, or even the same sexual preference, political views, or religious practices. What it means to me is that I have experienced and healed from situations in my life that caused mental illnesses, which eventually turned into physical illnesses. When I say I am a peer specialist, it doesn’t mean I have a certificate either. What it means is that I have visited the darkest caverns of my soul and I shinned a light in them.

I had to work on motivating myself out of depression hundreds of times. I held myself as I cried myself to sleep. I caused physical harm to myself to release the sense of uncontrollable anger I felt. I resorted to over eating, cutting, suicide attempts, and prostitution just to feel something. Therefore, when I consider myself a peer support specialist, I am telling myself that I have identified and accepted my childhood trauma. I am reminding myself that I have healed and overcame what others are experiencing or have experienced. I am now pursuing my dreams, accomplishing goals, and becoming the best person I can.

Writing The Wench’s Cocktale: A Bay Area Memoir allowed me to express things I experienced. I was sexually traumatized at a very young age and it haunted me throughout my life. Of course, healing is a never-ending process, and I still have moments of negative thoughts, anxiety, depression, and the inability to accomplish things. I still struggle. But, that’s also what makes me a peer, right? A peer isn’t only someone who has healed their pain, it’s someone who is still healing.

As I heal, I am motivated to mentor our youth, I am passionate about women in the sex industry, and I am grateful to have the strength to uplift others who are struggling through their trauma. It’s what I love about being a peer specialist. It’s what I love about life. It’s what I love about myself.

Celebrating International Women’s Day, Loving my Wolf Pack, and Surviving PTSD

It’s International Women’s Day

So, it saddens me I am writing this! How do I write about destructive masculine energies on a day we are supposed to celebrate women? How do I write about the struggle I am experiencing when I encounter men who trigger something inside of me that awakens the reactionary survival attitude without sounding like a bitch?

Ah, fuck it! I’ma be a bitch

I am sick of constantly feeling that overwhelming tingling sensation of survival mode when a man speaks to me in a way that triggers abusive memories. PTSD is a son-of-a-bitch, and I’m a host for their family dysfunctions. Mental health, addiction, and sexual and childhood trauma are all associated with my automatic fight or flight reactions.

Most the time, I fight. I want to destroy whatever is harming me and my psyche. I want to end the stinging sensations penetrating my aura. I want to tap into that beautiful, bad bitch Wolf Pack that scurries in my Spiritual Planes. I want to create a bloody carnage of the evil that lurks.

I want to hunt it down, destroy it, and devour it. I want to feel the flesh of this evil in my teeth and its warm life source drip from my lips. The smell. The taste. The satisfaction it would bring.

Oh wait?! There she is

That super bad bitch who’s seen and done some shit

She reminds me to simmer the fuck down! Take a moment. Calm the flame that burns. I can whine, whimper, growl, and even snap my Wolf teeth at this negative energy source. But, I cannot physically harm another.

I cannot physically harm another

She’s strong. My Higher Self. My Higher Power. She sits, resting under an orange tree, next to that bad bitch Wolf Pack Leader. They’re companions. She pets my Wolf Spirit. Strokes Her ego. Grooms Her fur. Studies Her hunting patterns. Watches over Her young.

I felt the rage of wanting to destroy the very thing that was trying to destroy us. It tries to destroy all women. Except this time, I could stand strong in my Queendom. I protected myself without creating carnage. I destroyed the energy force that seemed stronger than me before. I overcame the triggers and used the PTSD body memories to strengthen my life purpose. Something’s changed!

It can stab, slash, poke, cut, prod, and sting my very existence, but my Power within isn’t afraid of it anymore. The darkness doesn’t consume me, it guides me. The Wolf Pack doesn’t destroy, it protects. The triggers don’t control me, they strengthen me. The memories take me back, but the bitch brings me forward.

It’s International Women’s Day

Today, All Women move forward

So Mote It Be!

#CupOfJoBruno

Moving on!