unfetter your happiness (you know you want to) • Danielle LaPorte: white hot truth + sermons on life



It Is Assault

The past year has been interesting for me. As I watched Josh Duggar’s parents excuse not getting psychological help for Josh or his victims, as I heard so many minimizing statements about “playing doctor” and the like, I felt anger welling up from deep in my stomach. Like most people, I posted articles on Facebook, shook my head, got on with my life. 

Fast forward to the grotesque situation we find ourselves in today. Disgusting comments about “grabbing pussy” from a PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE! The same candidate appearing to flirt with ten year olds. That red hot anger started searing up my spine again. It was flamed though by rational, reasonable people questioning the use of the word assault. 

So, for the first time EVER, I am going to talk about something. I have been talking about it in therapy and some things seem to be clear for me that are confusing to other people. 

When I was a child, for many years, a fellow child who was three years older than me molested me. He also constantly said sexually explicit things to me, put pornographic movies on, etc. I was in a situation with him and many other children where for long stretches of time adults would go in another room, leaving children unsupervised. Children of all ages, from teens down. There were other abuses going on, children being beaten as punishment, cursed and called names. It was a toxic situation.

My mother refused to acknowledge the abuse. When acknowledging at all she minimized it. She never limited this relative’s contact with me. She still pressures me to attend family reunions. These events, fondling, fingering, forced French kissing, overly sexualized behavior were NEVER REPORTED. Against my mothers wishes I stopped visiting this household at age 13, I returned as an adult to attend funeral receptions. 

When we were 13, my grandfather molested my sister. Also unreported, minimized, and under rug swept. When I got on birth control at age eighteen, my mother compared me to my Grandfather, “the Grandfather fornicates, the granddaughter fornicates, what is the difference?”

I dealt with my past by attempting to be an overcomer. My efforts were clumsy at best, because my self worth was so effected. I didn’t know any better but to assume that what happened to me was no big deal. This was despite everything in me and every good touch talk at school. My mother was so overprotective with everyone except her family. Her inaction confused something in my very core. 

This is why it is called assault. The attitude that “it’s just not as bad” helped my mama justify what she did. It helped the Duggar’s justify what they did. It helped me to think it was my job to overcome, not my right to have wholeness and healing. 

It hurt me. It damaged me. It cost me family. No telling where my relative learned that behavior. 

I deserve healing. And I deserved justice. And protection. It’s called assault so when a child exhibits those behaviors on another child, the gravity of what is happening will be seen and acted on, for BOTH children’s sake.

Support calling any sexual violation of women being called an assault. If I punch you in the face, it’s an assault. If you stab me in my soul, my essence, my is-ness, it is violence as well. 

Hey, eighth grade self. I see you, I love you, and you are making it. 

#sexualassault #survivor #healing #selfcare #sexualabuse

What if I don’t know what to call my Higher Power? 

I am a seeker. I feel an incredible connection to what Anne Lamott calls “the Really Real”, what Jen Sincero describes as “The Motherlode”, and what I grew up understanding as the triune God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. This has often been a conflicting situation for me, and also one my anxiety attaches a lot of pressure to. I haven’t allowed myself many seasons to explore the numinous on my own terms, to create my own theology, to learn to trust my KNOWING. One of the benefits of really facing my codependency and working the 12 steps is being reminded that I don’t HAVE to be the strongest person, I can’t handle some of the chaos and pain that I am dealing with but I have a Higher Power who CAN. I don’t have to be smarter and faster and braver and more forgiving, more loving, more connected, more present, more, more, MORE…..! I can ask the Really Real to remove my character defects, while learning to accept myself, to love myself, to have healthy boundaries and relationships based on joy and equality. 

What a relief. That’s a much easier task than trying to control the universe and fix everyone and everything. 

I really like this list of names for a Higher Power from the Unitarian Universalist Association. I refer to it often. http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults/life/workshop1/159103.shtml

I am excited to share with you my journey as I begin exploring things that feel authentic and bring me into the presence of the Spirit Of Life. I will be posting in the next few weeks some of my journeys and some pics of my altar as it is coming along. 

I’d love to hear your own stories of your Higher Power and how you relate with it. Follow me on Instagram @candiceonacloud and tumblr at http://candicehasacloud.tumblr.com/

Please remember to love and accept yourselves. It’s hard and sometimes we fail, but you are worth it.

#codependency #serenity #higherpower #selflove


I have always struggled to wrap my mind around surrender. I think upon meeting I strike people as positive, open, warm. And I am these things. But deep beneath there is a strange distrustful nihilist. She’s just resigned to the fact that things break down, birthdays are forgotten, love is a game. She doesn’t surface a lot, but she makes it hard for me to admit powerlessness. It’s difficult to see surrender positively when there’s a part of you trying to define it as permission to give up.

When my father was dying, everything I thought had put into place to control my reality imploded. All the repressed, unfinished family business, all the bad communication models, everything just hummed back to life like some worn out machine. There was a quality of facing the day one moment at a time. My father had cheated on my mother, causing their divorce after thirty five years of marriage. After the divorce he called me once. I saw him next at the hospital. Once he was home in hospice, his girlfriend decided that while my twin sister was welcome to visit my father, I was not. About a week later he died. My other family relationships spiraled and I clearly saw that I was care taking and codependent in almost all of my relationships. Luckily somewhere deep inside a voice told me “just sit and think your thoughts”. I had to surrender. On multiple levels and in many ways I had to just feel without filtering. I had to develop immediate fences around any area that I was showing compulsive, unhealthy, or codependent behavior. It was an awful, beautiful time, I grew in ways that still amaze me. 

How do you surrender? How do you admit powerlessness over your ability to change those you love? Surrendering to loving yourself, to having your own back, to showing the world how you deserve to be treated by the way you treat yourself seems to be the trick.

This is a difficult work. Compassion (especially self compassion) is really important. Boundaries are the next step. Feeling free to define your own existence. 

This is also exciting work. In her book You Are A Badass, Jen Sincero writes

“Surrendering is the free-falling backwards into the unknown and trusting that The Universe will catch you.”

I like that. When I had to choose between surrender and survival, I chose surrender. And I was met there with unconditional love. 

#codependency #surrender #selfhelp #howdoyousurrender

I am learning….

….to be free….

I am learning that I have been stuck in all the wrong ways. I am learning to trust in a Higher Power slowly and creatively and as carefully as I need to. I am learning the difference between acting and reacting. 

Codependency is such a hard one. I am working on finding a healthy equilibrium. I am working toward acceptance of having had a difficult life. I am working on letting real joy penetrate my heart and spread to those around me. 

Thank you for stopping by. I will be posting here a few times a week. I look forward to sharing our journeys! 

#codependency #journey #healing