Grab A Coffee | Let's Share.

Grab a coffee as Linda shares her deeply personal journey of losing everything to undiagnosed CPtsd and regaining her health.

Toxic Stress

When my health and happiness continued to derail I needed answers
What I'm about to share with you has taken me many years and a lot of personal work, professional study and persistence to find the  answers. It's important you begin with knowing the science for all of this is only around 5 years old in the public domain. To gain further clarity for yourself I suggest you read The Body Keeps the Score by Dr Bessel van der Kolk, watch How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime by Dr Nadine Bourke Harris and you can use Janina Fishers workbook Transforming the living legacy of Trauma to gain a greater understanding of the impact in your life.

It's also vital you take time to wrap your mind around this fact. Toxic stress is stored at an unconscious level in our brain, our body, our nervous system, to the point where until we are conscious of it our life continues to repeat. Psychologists and Psychiatrists, generally speaking are not trauma trained in University GLOBALLY. IF you find one trauma trained it's because they pursued further education after University. Most have not heard of Complex Trauma for this reason. Talk therapy does not work for Complex Trauma.

On the 1st January, 2022 the IDC-11 will be the first to recognise Complex Trauma as a separate diagnosis. The group running the DSM have refused to adopt complex Trauma for years because there’s no University level training for it - this is from the group of professionals who’ve been trying for many years to get the DSM board to recognise complex trauma. The science is there. Without the DSM on board it will take 17 years for the information to filter through to medical textbooks, to Universities, to your local doctor. For some of us, actually many of us, we don't have that amount of time to wait for our good health to be returned.

About Linda

Welcome to DownUnder, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia!

My family is my everything. It's my why every single day.
I'm Linda Meredith, mum to 3 amazing adults Joshua, Chloe and Nicholas, Mimi (Nanna) to a beautiful granddaughter Rose and own a rescued Manx, Sylvan. I'm currently enjoying time being single (over twelve years) as I recover from Complex Trauma plus spending enjoyable long hours creating a global business, well, priorities!

I am supported and supportive of a close tribe of besties and friends locally and globally and fortunately I am an avid reader of all things Complex Ptsd, Neuroscience and Personal Development and love a well written fiction story. Oh, and a definite Netflix binger as well.
Chocolate in one hand, coffee in the other and no off switch until the series is complete. Did I mention exercise? No? It helps with the sanity factor of life and I also love long distance driving! Road trip anyone?

All my children, just what do you call your adult children, are following through with the intentional changing of the generations. I've had to make some super hard choices that impacted them from a young age. However, as adults and having lived through the process, they have a huge appreciation for the decisions I made and believe in the benefits because we have such deep, fun, loving, mutual relationships between all of us. 

Joshua, Chloe, Rose, Nicholas plus another adult and I live in a 3 story home in Brisbane, Australia. I was  originally born and bred in Sydney, Australia but all my children were born and raised in Qld. It's a lifestyle people from overseas just love when they're here too!

Toxic Stress & Linda's Journey

Toxic Stress: The prolonged activation of the stress response systems in the absence of protective relationships
Today it's hard to write, to record, the reality of what happened to me. To have reached a space where I now understand what happened in my life was due to toxic stress stored throughout my body, my brain, my nervous system, and to be winning the battle of returning to good health, well, there's tears of relief, and tears of grief. Tears of grief because I left home at 18 completely determined to not live the life I'd observed happening in the generations of my family that came before me.

With no problem being responsible and making choices I worked hard, played harder, and enjoyed life. However, the internal niggle that all was not "right" in my life had me seeking answers from the age of 20. Prior to this, growing up in my family, I experienced watching physical abuse, experienced emotional and mental abuse, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and abandonment. The intergenerational hand me downs were played out in my life, in my parents lives, and the generations before them. I have been the one who said no more.

At 15 I developed epilepsy out of nowhere, and no doctor could pinpoint why. Medication was effective and I continued to pursue a life that saw me moving between 3 different states in Australia, living in both the country and the city, doing long road trips, enjoying life and marrying at 24. Immediately after our marriage hubby was transferred to Brisbane, Qld. And I've stayed here ever since.

At 27 I had Joshua and was as surprised as my doctor when diagnosed with postnatal depression. Again, another health issue appearing with no explanation. I never experienced postnatal depression with Chloe and Nicholas. However, over time, I began to develop panic attacks, anxiety, and occasionally depression, with none of it staying permanently. I was searching at this time for answers not just for my health but because I "knew" there was something not functioning internally for me. 

Externally, I had it all. The handsome husband, the 3 gorgeous kids, my own home business, 3 cars, our own home, business premises on site and friends and family spanning states. And yet, still I "knew" internally something was not right.

I spent years pursuing personal growth, learning so much from a variety of sources. I wrote and taught My Authentic Self, saw clients and kept looking for answers. I once saw a Psychologist and said to them 'look, there's something not right, externally all looks functional, but I need answers to why I feel life isn't working." His response was "well, you're doing better than most of my clients, so you'll be fine."

The Journey continues

And yes, just like that bad infomercial, "but wait, there's more...."
"but wait... there's more..."
Then, it all began to come to a head. Somewhat like a pimple that had been germinating for decades, the head began to ooze. In pursuit of answers for nearly 2 decades, the memories of childhood sexual abuse emerged. I was fortunate, no, blessed, to find a local counsellor who had resources from America. 

Once I understood the family generational hand me downs, I began to be able to make healthier choices for my life. My then husband was not willing to address his anger so I had to navigate a divorce. I did not want my children believing that what went on behind closed doors was a healthy way of life. 

Believe me, I thought I'd finally popped that pimple! But no, like a bad infomercial, there was "wait, there's more!" Having navigated a divorce and losing all of my friends, because no one believed what happened behind closed doors, I focused on raising my kids in a healthy manner. Determined to never go down the road of divorce made the divorce process crippling for me.

However, consciously making the decision that my kids didn't deserve to be raised in a toxic environment has paid off many years later. All of them have thanked me for the hard choices I had to make and have continued to pursue healing the generational trauma. 

After the divorce I had one friend remaining, and when my ex and her hooked up, the pain of abject loneliness was my friend for awhile. I had no idea where my life would go, so I kept taking just one step at a time. I ended up married again, believing this time I had worked out how to choose the "right" person. I'd read tonnes of books on marriage etc.  Instead, my health went progressively downhill. Experiencing migraines that lasted days on end that 30 mg of morphine every 3 days wasn't touching, my then gp began to mess with my epilepsy medication. What then followed was over 2 years bedridden, over medicated by the gp and a specialist, losing all my cognitive functions, unable to walk, talk, feed or bathe myself, losing my memory and needing a full time carer.

Eventually I began to have grand mal seizures that I have never had previously. That's when I was taken to a neurologist who recognised the medical overdosing. I was sent to a psych ward to get me off the overdoses. I don't have a lot of memory from all of that time. I just know that once I wasn't overdosed it took me a year to be able talk and go back to the neurologist and get put back on my original epilepsy medication. Considering I couldn't talk when I had seen her the year before she immediately agreed to me returning to my original medication, and I've had zero medication or seizure problems since then.

And yes, just like that bad infomercial, "but wait, there's more...."

Recovery Begins

Finally, a massive breakthrough...
That first year, getting out of bed on my own I was terrified if I fell over I'd never be able to get up on my own. Every step I took had to be planned ahead to have support i.e. lots of holding walls and furniture. The day I made it up and down the hallway 4 times, albeit holding onto walls, I knew I'd make it into wellness.

The problem with wellness over the years was this: having spent many, many years on personal development and internal awareness - I wrote the manual for it -  I was still not able to fully function. Incredibly frustrating especially when externally I looked fine. People would say to me, "you're doing great."  What they couldn't see nor understand was that I did not have the capacity to live my life. Life was slow, I was exhausted, still needed to nap after going out and I knew my brain was capable of more than I was doing. I just couldn't seem to "get" there, where I wanted to be.

I eventually studied to become a counsellor. I didn't think I'd be capable of study. The first session I had to go home with a migraine early, but I came back the next day for my test. The incredible stress on my entire system to change things up took time to adjust too. Then I discovered the trauma coaching certification and so many pieces of understanding began to come into my awareness. Trauma, but not only trauma, complex trauma, childhood developmental trauma and intergenerational trauma. I'd been waiting for years for every piece of understanding the new language gave to me. Finally I could say "yes, this makes sense" and breathe a sigh of relief. I felt seen, understood, heard.

And then I began to study the neuroscience. 

Finally, I began to piece together a multigenerational puzzle of toxic stress. Then I had to develop a way to rid my body, brain and nervous system of toxic stress stored at the unconscious level.
The brain is complex, there's no denying it. However, there are key parts impacted by Complex Trauma. Once I began to actively engage my Prefrontal Cortex  over the last 4 years my actual health has begun to return. Without my Prefrontal Cortex engaged there can be no emotional regulation, no filing away  of unconscious memories, no releasing of the intergenerational trauma, and no increasing health. 
I know this because the buildup of toxic stress derailed my entire life.

Today, July 2023 I am complex ptsd free and building my life with a capacity I feel good about. I've just had a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, but it too comes from trauma so I will use the neuroscience to work out what I need to do to be well. Complex Trauma hides so much, but wellness is my only choice. I want what's left of my life to enjoyable and for me to have the capacity to help others be free too.

More than anything in this world I want you to know you're not alone and there are paths to wellness. You do not have to do this journey without information, you do not have to wait for the healthcare system to catch up, you can take action and build the life you truly want for yourself and your family. It's complex, but it's definitely doable. Please feel welcome to join our global family and begin to take your one next step.

Now, I can say with confidence but wait, there's more, plenty of more good things to come, more life to enjoy, and with a bit of luck plenty more grandkids to spoil with a tonne of love. 


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