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Your ugly is beautiful

Let me tell you why...

There are parts of ourselves that we do not want to own. They are filled with shame and secrets, and a deep belief that if others truly knew us, they would find us unlovable. We do not speak about them, and often do not even acknowledge their existence, and yet they are in fact running our lives. Maybe these unconscious beliefs were placed by childhood abusers, or maybe they arose in response to another childhood trauma. Whatever their source, as long as they go un-questioned, they cast their shadow over every choice you make. But when you work to uncover these shadows, amazing things can happen.

As a speaker, mothering coach, and multi-media creator, I work to break the silence that keeps childhood abuse survivors stuck in shame and self-hatred. I believe that our stories possess the power to transform our greatest pain into beautiful works of art.

Let me tell you how I ended up doing this work…

I was a quiet, creative kid, who often escaped from the world into any book I could find. I spent my days writing poems and songs, painting pictures and telling stories. An outcast at school, I hid out in the music room and the library, avoiding the torment of bullies who labelled me a slut because of the childhood sexual abuse I endured. 

Following undergraduate studies in Vocal Jazz and Gender & Women’s Studies, I completed my teacher training at the University of British Columbia. I took further training in art from many prominent mixed media artists and have since spent many years teaching everything from preschool music classes to speaking workshops for adults.

But the biggest lessons I have learned in life came from becoming a mother. Having my children changed the course of my personal healing path and my professional creative path. On the birth of my second child, I experienced devastating postpartum depression that forced me to address the ongoing impact of the childhood sexual abuse I experienced.

I wrote, illustrated and self-published the children’s picture book Princess Monsters from A to Z, a book about accepting all the “monstrous” parts of ourselves that we might feel are un-loveable. Recently I discovered that this book is being used by a local counsellor in her practice with her younger clients, which thrills me. This book came out of my own shame as a childhood abuse survivor, and I wanted to create a book that helped others who felt like outsiders because they were different.

Immediately after releasing that book I realized how pregnancy, childbirth and parenting were triggering abuse flashbacks for me. After a failed search to find any parenting books that addressed this issue, I became obsessed with finding others like me and sharing our stories. I knew I couldn’t be the only person struggling to manage post-traumatic stress while parenting. Eventually I found Dawn Daum, and together we formed an online community for parenting survivors of childhood abuse and created the anthology Parenting with PTSD.

In the past few years, I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I can about the impact of childhood trauma. I have heard stories from hundreds of parents who have confirmed what I initially believed, that I am not alone in struggling to manage my post traumatic stress while parenting. Now I am using my skills as an artist, writer and educator to share this information with the world.  

Here are some of my current offerings:

Speaking  and Workshops

Joyelle visits classes, community groups and companies to do speaking, book readings and workshops. Topics include:

  • parenting after trauma
  • trauma and resilience
  • trauma informed care
  • sexual abuse recovery
  • body image
  • self care practice for entrepreneurs & businesses
  • art, writing and music workshops for children and youth

Mothering Support

You are currently or have previously done therapy, but what you need now is someone to educate and guide you through this journey of mothering after abuse trauma. Joyelle is an empathic guide, helping you understand the workings of the traumatized brain, learn to recognize when you are triggered, and connect you with tools for self-regulation. Small group and individual support options are available.

Music/Poetry Performance

Are you searching for a creative way to express concepts about trauma to your conference audience? Joyelle can entertain, inspire and move your audience with her musical and poetic presentations.

Artwork

Purchase original artwork or commission a custom painting to commemorate your healing journey.

Books for Children

Books for Parents

 



If you would like to have Joyelle speak or perform at your event, please contact her at joyellebrandt@shaw.ca, or call 778-888-1395.