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Self Love in Violence: Personal Trauma breeds Organizational Trauma

In the days following up to the transition of winter to spring here in New York city, the day of the spring equinox and I caught my internal dialogue operating at a million. I'm not good enough, do you love me? I was stalking myself as I looked for evidence in all the faces, all the looks, and all the conversations I was having that I don' t belong, that there is something wrong with me. I found myself looking back for the validation of old relationships lost and hearts broken. Questioning why, those people are not here. My little girl is yearning for love and looking for it in all the wrong places. Its like a drug these fucking negative thoughts, to detox from them is to hold myself very still and just go through the motions, the tears, the fear. Undoing them moment to moment, not getting caught up, not picking up the phone, not texting, not looking back, not entertaining the possibility of being worthless. So, I sat my little girl down and said Listen little girl, we are not doing this shit this spring. We are whole perfect and complete. We are loved and well those not here today with us its there loss cause we turned out to be fantabulous!

Injustice is created by people, justice is created by people! Trauma happens in community, healing happens in community! People create this world and if they don't know or have never seen this world be anything different then they will recreate it even when it no longer exists. From historical violence, legendary & inter-generational trauma passed down we walk both is the past of girls and women resiliency and past incomplete hurt and pain.

Trauma leads lives, movements, creates families, and organizations and we are at the forefront of it all. The illusion of control and the superwomen syndrome we carry to ensure that not one more women, not one more girl , breeds a cycle of violence some of us don't know how to get out of. Women all over the world are surviving crimes against humanity, rape, war, sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence, torture, intimate partner violence, relationship abuse, incest, child sexual abuse, molestation, murder and poverty. Those of us who get to see another day know matter what we have witnessed, survived or experienced not only wake up every day with gratitude but some of us are angry, resentful ,sad, hopeless and often time feel powerless in the mist of it all and rightfully so. Those of us that get to see another day continue to live and create families and work to put on the table. But how many of us have had the time to look back and heal. Really look back and face our little girls, still sitting under the bed or in the back yard or standing in the road. How many of us have gone back to tell her that you turned out to be extraordinary, that it is safe and you can now protect her.

Many of us still don't think we can protect ourselves. We come face to face with violence everyday. Layers and layers of trauma make up our hard skin and faith supports us to do live anyway. If you are this powerful with all these stories, imagine how powerful you would be if you got complete? Imagine if you could lead your life from your whole, perfect, complete, loving , generous, magical heart and not from the incomplete past.

Do you know who you work with? Do you know the story of the person who sits next to you? Do you know what she goes home to? Where she comes to work from? Do you know what past haunts her? Have you ever asked what happened?

Organizational trauma is not something that you can fix with a strategic plan or a staff retreat or even implementing health and wellness classes. Organizational trauma is created by the people who work in the organization. When trauma has no where to be processed it goes to work, to school, and home and back again. You take yourself everywhere you go.
There is a difference between sudden loss of funds, or staff, someone dies, or something happens in the community you work with and the trauma that the people you work with come to the organization with day in and day out. What is the same is the way that everyone manages moments, deal with each other and get triggered and play out internalized oppression with each other.

Personal trauma breeds organizational trauma that results in power over, codependent supervisor, staff , and co-worker relationships, and produces damaging effects that seem almost impossible to undo, closing down and interpersonal violence. Within a small amount of time without any tools, peoples health deteriorate, the sustainability of the organization and its people is compromised, there is burnout and dis-ease.

What if I told you this doesn't need to happen and there is a way to prepare for it and manage it effectively? The spring provides organizations and the people who work in them the opportunity to be different! This spring provides you with the opportunity to lead with your heart. Remember with everything going on we sometimes forget our purpose or why we started social justice and our work to end violence in women lives. Trauma in early childhood has such a profound impact on young women that it follows her well into adulthood without her knowing. With no safe spaces for healing young women become drug addicts, self mutilate, have unsafe sex, are in unhealthy relationships and turn to food for emotional support. A once loving and happy little girl is now fighting to save her life. Honoring the earth traditions of our ancestors, every spring, young and adult women get to give birth to themselves all over again. Women of all ages have the opportunity to let go of trauma from child sexual abuse, abandonment, adoption, foster care, regrets, and self blame from a child hood they had no control over and reclaim self love & inner beauty lost to broken hearts during infancy.

Love is a basic human right that we are all born to give unconditionally. Unfortunately, capitalism makes us choose power over love. It violates our human right to love and be loved. All forms of child abuse are consequence of living in an unjust world whose strategically uses love to both reward and punish people. Poverty breeds unhealthy love amongst people through the many forms of interpersonal violence that develops as the impact of trauma. The more our political leaders embody war and violence in the name of love and safety it becomes imperative for us to embody love and humanity for ourselves and that is SELF LOVE in violence.

Happy B-earth-day to all the powerful young and adult women on World Pulse! Do something special for yourself today, even if its just telling yourself 10 times today that you deserve love, happiness and joy. You deserve to have it all!

In BOLD Rebirth and Deliciously in love with myself and all of you.

For more information about Organizational Trauma or the Spring Season click on the Emagazine below



Keating's picture


Dear sister ...

Trauma is the cause of make or break in most areas of life and I agree- it starts with looking into ourselves. I still feel we need to keep acknowledging the fact that we have this traumatic side that can come into our minds and trigger old thoughts/thought patterns, due to that part in us that was traumatized. More encouragement from each other will eventually heal as time goes by, as you have said in your own unique and special way.

Thank you for sharing this important story.

A poem for you <3 xx


A falling star
did come to earth
so beaten at her game

the game of hope
did start to disperse
yet seen as something lame

the trials and errors
brought hate not love
upon the brow of blame

amusing maze
of crazy days
did bring her to her shame

until she laid
her sorrows out
found troubles were in all

a wanton waif
mixed up in fate
was shoved beyond her call

yet hope did lead
the torch she held
to share stories untold

oh why such games
to find one's way
when one can be so bold

it takes the games
of loves and hates
wake up upon life's wheel

a falling star
did rise again
believe we can be real

oh hope is there
a trusting friend
until we grow with ease

oh falling star
you came to help
shed light we can be free


tainadelsol's picture


that was a beautiful poem. thank you for sharing you made my day!

In Bold Rebirth

Greengirl's picture

Hello DEE

Of course, no one is capable of doling out what he or she does not have. More wisdom and grace to you as you continue to remind every one of us, about how so important it is for us to cultivate love for ourselves and everyone around us. We must not allow ourselves to be caught in the web of finding endless reasons to love ourselves; so I quite appreciate your prescribed antidote/remedy for trauma associated with violence: 'Unconditional Love for one's self and others'!

Much love to you!


tainadelsol's picture


thank you for your acknowledgment and for taking the time to read my entry.

In Bold Rebirth

Kim Crane's picture

Hi Dee! This is lovely and

Hi Dee!

This is lovely and very insightful. The concept of organizational trauma is a new one for me. And fascinating. Do you have examples of how personal trauma might play out in the workplace? What you present makes so much sense, but I'm not sure what that would look like, and how your would recognize it in the workplace.

Thanks for sharing your voice!

tainadelsol's picture

writing a book

hey, I am writing a whole book about organizational trauma and healing with the seasons. So, I am now thinking through that question. I will share with you once i get some concretes. Also go to my website, to get more info. Sign in and make sure that you stay connected.

Love dee

In Bold Rebirth

kellyannaustin's picture

I love this! Thank you for

I love this! Thank you for sending out your healing voice.

Wishing you peace,


tainadelsol's picture

your welcome

thank you for not just reading but taking the time to acknowledge me.

In Bold Rebirth

kellyannaustin's picture

What a great reply! Thank

What a great reply! Thank you.


SSD's picture

Thumbs up !

Dear D,

Thank you for sharing your journey with us ! It is very meaningful and significant for many women to fathom the themes associated in your article. From what I have read, you seem to be an awesome mother - your daughter is truly blessed to have you in her life and I am sure you are also a blessing to her.
Keep inspiring and encouraging positive changes, 'tis women like you who surely cultivate a peaceful universe. Healing is the first step to extinguishing the fire of suffering. World Pulse is certainly proud to have you as a member.

Loads of well wishes and serenity to you !


tainadelsol's picture


hi shaheen, i think your response was better than my entry. thank you for taking the time to acknowledge me and be generous with your words.

In Bold Rebirth

Precious M's picture

We Emerge Strong!

In all these things, we turn out to be strong and we are even stronger to help our daughters grow. Thank you for such an inspiring piece. This spring will certainly be different for me.


My pen speaks

tainadelsol's picture


Thank you for being you, whole perfect and complete. Cant wait to see who you create yourself as this spring.

In Bold Rebirth

Jennifer Faith's picture

Powerfully spoken

Hello Dee,

I am deeply moved by your words and I encourage you to continue speaking the truth in love. My own childhood trauma played a key part in the poor choices I made as a young adult. I gave myself to a batterer and stayed for far too long. Your words resonate with me because I used to be tormented by all sorts of negative thoughts - all day, every day. "You are not safe. You are not good enough. No one loves you. You are alone. There is no hope." I discovered through my intense journey to healing that I was embracing an orphan heart and was clinging to a spirit of rejection. I have spent many hours in the presence of a loving God, weeping, facing my pain and just allowing him to love me. I now know I am loved completely - just the way I am - and that helps me to love myself. Someone once said "wholeness is brokenness owned and thus healed," and I believe this with my whole heart. You seem to have a gift for encouraging others down the path of healing and I want you to know that your gift is very important.


tainadelsol's picture

Creating you , creating me

thank you for not just reading but sharing your story with me. My story is your story and I could only be doing my work cause you are doing yours. Trauma happens in community therefore healing must happen in community.
Also go to my website, to get more info. Sign in and make sure that you stay connected.

In Bold Rebirth

Melissa_Banigan's picture


Hi Dee,

I met you a few weeks ago at a World Pulse meet-up here in NYC. So pleased to find this article of yours. "Trauma in early childhood has such a profound impact on young women that it follows her well into adulthood without her knowing." Indeed. As a 37-year-old woman I still often struggle to heal from childhood trauma. It's an ongoing process! I needed to read this article today, and plan to get off-line to take a few minutes this evening to tell myself I'm powerful, worthy and good. Thank you for the reminder!

Melissa Banigan
Founder / Editor, Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

tainadelsol's picture


hi, Melissa

thank you for reaching out, yes I remember. I am so glad you got a chance to read this piece and that it was a contribution to you. Yes , you are worthy, powerful. The use of the word good however will always mean that bad is possible so lets transform that to extraordinary. You are extraordinary! i love your book and that you are taking this on so powerfully.

I would love to talk to you about an idea i have for your book and how we can work together. i am writing a healing trauma with the seasons book or personal and organizational trauma and i take people self, the child, the young girl, the adolescent, the young adult and the adult. I have written fall and spring. i will be writing the summer, the season of the adolescent in the next week and I think I have some ideas to our collaboration.

My email is Please let me know when you are free to speak.

Love DEE

In Bold Rebirth

Melissa_Banigan's picture

Love this

Hi Dee,

Extraordinary… YES!

I love the idea behind your book, and I'm all about collaborative efforts.

Sending you an email now!

Melissa Banigan
Founder / Editor, Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

tainadelsol's picture


hi everyone that has replied to this post. i am so overwhelmed by your acknowledgement and its exactly what i needed this spring as my own trauma is showing up. What I shared in the entry is an excerpt to a book i am writing right now about personal and organizational trauma and healing with the seasons. thank you for your questions and reading your comments gave me a push forward.
Please Go to my website, to get more info. Sign in and make sure that you stay connected.
also if you have any questions please contact me at

In Bold Rebirth

Marie Louise's picture


Sweet sounds of wisdom. Thank you
Love Marie Louise

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