Unit 1: How Writing Helps Overcome Trauma

Hi again!

Before we really jump in, I just wanted to give you a little bit of background on me so that you know that I’m coming from a good place. And then I’m not just trying to swindle you or you know… I know that people who have experienced abuse, like myself, can experience a lot of trust issues and feel a little bit more likely to be disconnected. So I just wanted to give you an understanding of who I am and why I’m here.

So my name is Marissa F. Cohen. I have a podcast called Healing From Emotional Abuse, where we talk with guests, and you know, about emotional abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and things like that, to give survivors like us more relatability, more resources and let you know that you’re not alone. And that these things all happened to you, they’re not your fault.

I also have a series of books called the Breaking Through the Silence series, where I’ve discussed my my abuse, my experiences with domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as many others. I have an entire book dedicated to male survivors, because I feel like they’re the most underreported demographic. I also am a motivational speaker.

But my story how I got here was when I was in college, it was my first semester. And I started dating this guy, and he was very charming, and thoughtful and sweet. And he would surprise me with my favorite snacks, and he’d come sit with me at my desk. We were on the student government together, and he did all these nice things for me and made me feel really special. So I allowed him to take me on a date, I was a little bit picky. And he really wowed me. And so a couple weeks later, we were official, and all of the kindness and the thoughtfulness and the charm, just kind of disappeared. And instead of being friendly, and kind, he would be demeaning, and he would minimize everything that I had wanted, he would minimize my opinions, he would minimize the things that I said. And then he would completely invalidate me. He would tell me, I was stupid, he would tell me that my opinions were wrong, we were on very opposite sides of the political spectrum. So, he would tell me that my beliefs were stupid and ridiculous, and that I was naive. It just kept escalating until you know, you’re worthless, you’re lucky that I love you, because nobody else will ever love you. I mean, he was really ruthless, and made me feel like I was this big.

And then that verbal and emotional abuse turned into physical and sexual abuse. He took advantage of me, he sexually assaulted me. And that was my first experience with sex. So that really did a number on my mental health and well being and my expectations for future relationships. And I did get into a series of bad relationships. After that, I allowed people to treat me poorly. I treated myself poorly, my standards were below the ground. I mean, it was it was bad. And I was allowing people into my life that didn’t deserve to be there, quite frankly.

And I used writing the whole time. And I didn’t even realize that it was helping me. So after I’d finally left everyone, all those bad people, and I started doing healing work, using journaling, using writing and bullet journals, and creative outlets like that, I started to truly heal. I started to find myself again. I started to feel full again, because I just felt like this empty shell of a human, kind of just walking around the earth and existing, I didn’t really feel, I didn’t really feel strong. And so using these tools, I rebuilt myself.

And so that’s why I’m here today. Because I know what I went through and how horrific it was. And I don’t want anyone else to experience what I did. And if you have already experienced something similar to what I have, then I’m here for you. And I want you to know that and these tools, they really work. They helped me become an incredibly strong, confident person and I could not be more grateful. So that’s what I want for you. That’s why we’re here today. Thank you so much for listening to my story. In the next module. We’re going to actually get started on some learning and some writing. See you there.

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