Victims, Victors, and Classes

Before we delve into this juicy post, please note this schedule change:
The monthly Ithaca Mothers Support Group meetings are moving from the first Tuesday of the month to the first Thursday of the month. Our next meeting is this Thursday June 7th, at 12:30-1:30pm. More details here.

– – –

Does motherhood make you feel like a victim?
Especially if you have PPD or anxiety, you signed up for the most joyful time of your life, and what you got is exhaustion sprinkled with excruciating emotional pain. Feeling like a victim is only natural.

And then there’s victim’s guilt:
I can’t believe I am struggling with motherhood. What kind of person can’t be a natural mother?
I must be weak or stupid or lazy.
Who am I kidding? I’m ALL of the above.

So we fight it. Because we want to win.
Of course we want to win.We fight. And who are we fighting? Ourselves.
Let’s just make sure there are no losers in this fight.
If we are going to fight guilt, depression, and anxiety, let’s fight for the win-win.
By practicing what I call Permission-Based Healing.

We do have a choice.
Which are you going to be: a victim or a victor?


The difference two letters make:

Victim    Victor
im              or
I’m            Or

(How cool is that? Gotta love language.)

But what does this mean?
It means that we have a choice to make.

Choice is good. And awful.
How could choice possibly be a bad thing?
Here’s how: most of us don’t know HOW to make this choice.
Happiness is not so simple. Sad/happy is not like chocolat/vanilla, blue/pink.
In our culture of self-judgement, happiness takes skills.

When I was feeling blue, no amount of choosing could make me see the world through rose-colored glasses.
Some people say they can choose to be happy. Like flipping a switch.
Lucky them. Good for them.
I’m not one of them.
Are you?

And if you ever wanted to slap one of the well meaning advice-givers who say “just choose to be happy,” than we have a lot in common. And here is a big ((((hug)))) from me.

Because when you have no access to your happiness, being told to choose happiness feels like being told to pretend you are happy, to fake happiness. Regardless of how you really feel. Ouch!
And if you happen to get this advice when you are suicidal, this just becomes further proof of your brokenness, and leads to more devastating guilt:
I can’t even choose to be happy, how pathetic… surely my kids deserve a better mother, ergo I’ll be doing everybody a favor by getting out of the way…
Been there, thought that, “failed” the suicide attempt (thank God!).

I woke up not dead, and started putting one foot in front of the next, taking baby steps to learning every emotional skill I could muster on my way back to mental health: my journey from victim to victor.

7 years later, and almost two years after I started I holding support groups in Ithaca and hosting the PPD SpeakEasy phone support Chat, I have a lot of experience with holding the safe space for sharing environments. I love the sharing environments, but they have a downside: while they are healing and absolving in that  “phew, I’m not the only freak in town” sort of way, these drop-in sharing environments lack the magic combo of structure + commitment + continuity that make all the difference in the world in how well the new emotional skills are integrated to replace the painful old ways.
When I taugt the Ithaca UnGuilt Trip class, I fell in love with the experience of teaching a small committed group of women the tools that healed me. The testimonials from that class are my pride and joy. I am eager to do the same online.

So I’m working on bringing the UnGilt Trip online, and it has grown from a single class to a curriculum, where everything I know about going from victim to victor is presented in digestible units, one group of related skills for happiness at a time.
Think of it as a Joy and Comfort School: where you are taught how to find access to happiness without guilt, by learning how to meet needs rather than expectations, how to stop fighting yourself and begin to interact with yourself with kindness and curiousity, all within a support structure that helps you incorporate these new emotional habits for life. These e-courses include videos, conference calls, and helping handouts (Get it? Helping Hands Out… Gotta love language again). The whole thing is called the UnGuilt Trip.
And the first module (Not) Secret (Not) Weapon, practical bodymind methods for disarming anger and anxiety, is now ready to serve. It’s a three weeks e-course, and on the first time I teach it it will cost less than on future runs. Right now you can sign up for it for $45. Three teleclases, audios and videos from the Kooky Jar, and ongoing support at the (not)Secret Love-ratory. Check it out here.

Upcoming modules:
The Sleep Deprivation Companion: Self-Kindness, coping skills, and safety plans for when you can’t get no ZZZZs.
Inner Wise Woman safari: developing self trust and inner guidance. We all have a sage inside us. Yes, even you. Find her, tend and befriend her, allow her to shine, and oh, the places you’ll go…
The UnCrash Course: Self-Kindness ways to set-back proof your recovery.

Classes will range from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the concepts. Prices will vary according to the length and depth of each unit, and I am committed to keeping the prices affordable. As always, I will continue to offer lots of free support: here on the website, in the Ithaca support group meetings, and at the Mama’s Comfort Camp Facebook refueling station. But the classes need to cost money.

Yes. Money. Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with money…
I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that PPDtoJoy and now Mama’s Comfort Camp are not a game for me. I am committed to helping an ever growing number of mothers all over the world. And I can’t do that unless I’m also generating income to support my family.  Charging for classes not only helps me, it absolutly increases the effectiveness of the whole endeavor. After all, money is the most effective commitment devise out there: scientific research in economics and psychology repeatedly shows that when we pay for something, we are much more likely to make good use of it and benefit from it more deeply than if we got the same thing for free (you know exactly what mean, right?). Talk about a win-win situation for everybody.

Again, prices will be affordable, I will offer barter options and each class will include “a free spread-the-love spot” that you could win by helping me spread the word by sharing a link to the page with your people online and in real life. Also, all the classes will be recorded and will include online support forums, so lifestyle and location shouldn’t become barriers either: even if your work or time-zone get in the way of attending the live teleclasses, you will still get the full value from each class.

This is scary. Asking people to pay me to do the work I wish I could just do for free ain’t easy on this mama. But it’s necessary for my sake, and for the sake of this endeavor to truly benefit my students. And it will invariably turn some people away. That’s just life. It’s time to stretch my comfort zone and trust that the mamas who need these classes will choose to sign up for them. And together we will practice stuff that really should be taught in school. Until these skills are part of the mainstream curriculum, I make it my business to teach them right here.  The UnGuilt Trip is my Joy School. And I will not let my fears get in the way.

As I continue my  work and my journey, I will never be a victim again. From now on, Victor is my middle name.
Um, make that Victoria.

– – –

So I invite you to check out the course page for (Not) Secret (Not) Weapon. Several mamas told me that just reading the page made them feel comforted. Susan said that it gave her the same anticipatory joy she feels when drawing a bubble bath for herself, Thank you Susan!

Comment Magic: I always hope for your comments, I love to read your voice. But on this post I will truly appreciate your kind words. Stretching the comfort zone is a whole lot easier when you let me know that my words and my work resonate with you. Thank you.

9 Responses to Victims, Victors, and Classes
  1. latest trends in social media 2011
    September 25, 2014 | 7:21 am

    latest trends in social media 2011

    Victims, Victors, and Classes | PPD to Joy

  2. Kristin Novotny (@littlemamajama)
    June 9, 2012 | 9:24 pm

    Yael, it is so awesome that you are doing this. Thank you for stretching your comfort zone in order to help others. Your work touches so many lives.

    Congrats on this new endeavor! I hope to take one of your classes in the future, once we get settled in our new state and home. *hugs*
    Kristin Novotny (@littlemamajama) recently posted..Arming Myself With Information

  3. kiki wilson-hashman
    June 7, 2012 | 12:50 am

    omg the sleep deprivation companion needs to be taught in hospitals to all new moms !!!!!!!!!!!! yes I did use that many exclamation points

  4. Katherine
    June 5, 2012 | 10:41 pm

    They don’t get anything else from the Olympics themselves, but they get fame in their own country and usually wind up with advertising contracts, as well as some monetary recognition from their governments.
    Katherine recently posted..Hot Tub Spare Parts

  5. Rori
    June 4, 2012 | 8:13 pm

    I’m so happy to have found some support for ppd – something not one of my friends can understand – they think being a mom is all ivory soap and baby powder because they have no kids :) my doctor just wants to medicate me but i want to , need to, learn some coping skills instead. so looking forward to the class – i signed up today!

  6. Andrea
    June 4, 2012 | 1:53 pm

    I think it is wonderful that you have put this together. I just signed up today & I am very excited about this!!

    I find it inspirational to have gone through a hard time, overcome it & then go on to helping others. There is nothing wrong with doing what you love & supporting your family!
    Andrea recently posted..keep your head up

  7. Jaime
    June 4, 2012 | 8:37 am

    Wishing you and those who sign up tremendous success with this. I’m going to email you with an idea…
    Jaime recently posted..Summer’s Almost Here!

  8. Alison@Mama Wants This
    June 4, 2012 | 5:02 am

    Yael, I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing this, and there is nothing wrong with earning an income from this.

    I love Susan’s idea of a gift card – wonderful!
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..The Things He Says

  9. Susan
    June 3, 2012 | 10:58 pm

    I am always inspired by your honesty and genuine writing. Of course you need to support your family! And if you can do it while helping others and doing something you’re passionate about, then you really are fortunate. People spend money on their physical health all the time – you’re not asking them to do anything except treat their mental health the same way.

    Can I suggest offering a class “giftcard”? Some way a loved one or friend could purchase a class for a mom they know in need of unguilt? Mamas might not shell out the money for themselves, but would accept it as a gift. The gift of mental health. The gift of self care. :)

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Victims, Victors, and Classes

Before we delve into this juicy post, please note this schedule change:
The monthly Ithaca Mothers Support Group meetings are moving from the first Tuesday of the month to the first Thursday of the month. Our next meeting is this Thursday June 7th, at 12:30-1:30pm. More details here.

– – –

Does motherhood make you feel like a victim?
Especially if you have PPD or anxiety, you signed up for the most joyful time of your life, and what you got is exhaustion sprinkled with excruciating emotional pain. Feeling like a victim is only natural.

And then there’s victim’s guilt:
I can’t believe I am struggling with motherhood. What kind of person can’t be a natural mother?
I must be weak or stupid or lazy.
Who am I kidding? I’m ALL of the above.

So we fight it. Because we want to win.
Of course we want to win.We fight. And who are we fighting? Ourselves.
Let’s just make sure there are no losers in this fight.
If we are going to fight guilt, depression, and anxiety, let’s fight for the win-win.
By practicing what I call Permission-Based Healing.

We do have a choice.
Which are you going to be: a victim or a victor?


The difference two letters make:

Victim    Victor
im              or
I’m            Or

(How cool is that? Gotta love language.)

But what does this mean?
It means that we have a choice to make.

Choice is good. And awful.
How could choice possibly be a bad thing?
Here’s how: most of us don’t know HOW to make this choice.
Happiness is not so simple. Sad/happy is not like chocolat/vanilla, blue/pink.
In our culture of self-judgement, happiness takes skills.

When I was feeling blue, no amount of choosing could make me see the world through rose-colored glasses.
Some people say they can choose to be happy. Like flipping a switch.
Lucky them. Good for them.
I’m not one of them.
Are you?

And if you ever wanted to slap one of the well meaning advice-givers who say “just choose to be happy,” than we have a lot in common. And here is a big ((((hug)))) from me.

Because when you have no access to your happiness, being told to choose happiness feels like being told to pretend you are happy, to fake happiness. Regardless of how you really feel. Ouch!
And if you happen to get this advice when you are suicidal, this just becomes further proof of your brokenness, and leads to more devastating guilt:
I can’t even choose to be happy, how pathetic… surely my kids deserve a better mother, ergo I’ll be doing everybody a favor by getting out of the way…
Been there, thought that, “failed” the suicide attempt (thank God!).

I woke up not dead, and started putting one foot in front of the next, taking baby steps to learning every emotional skill I could muster on my way back to mental health: my journey from victim to victor.

7 years later, and almost two years after I started I holding support groups in Ithaca and hosting the PPD SpeakEasy phone support Chat, I have a lot of experience with holding the safe space for sharing environments. I love the sharing environments, but they have a downside: while they are healing and absolving in that  “phew, I’m not the only freak in town” sort of way, these drop-in sharing environments lack the magic combo of structure + commitment + continuity that make all the difference in the world in how well the new emotional skills are integrated to replace the painful old ways.
When I taugt the Ithaca UnGuilt Trip class, I fell in love with the experience of teaching a small committed group of women the tools that healed me. The testimonials from that class are my pride and joy. I am eager to do the same online.

So I’m working on bringing the UnGilt Trip online, and it has grown from a single class to a curriculum, where everything I know about going from victim to victor is presented in digestible units, one group of related skills for happiness at a time.
Think of it as a Joy and Comfort School: where you are taught how to find access to happiness without guilt, by learning how to meet needs rather than expectations, how to stop fighting yourself and begin to interact with yourself with kindness and curiousity, all within a support structure that helps you incorporate these new emotional habits for life. These e-courses include videos, conference calls, and helping handouts (Get it? Helping Hands Out… Gotta love language again). The whole thing is called the UnGuilt Trip.
And the first module (Not) Secret (Not) Weapon, practical bodymind methods for disarming anger and anxiety, is now ready to serve. It’s a three weeks e-course, and on the first time I teach it it will cost less than on future runs. Right now you can sign up for it for $45. Three teleclases, audios and videos from the Kooky Jar, and ongoing support at the (not)Secret Love-ratory. Check it out here.

Upcoming modules:
The Sleep Deprivation Companion: Self-Kindness, coping skills, and safety plans for when you can’t get no ZZZZs.
Inner Wise Woman safari: developing self trust and inner guidance. We all have a sage inside us. Yes, even you. Find her, tend and befriend her, allow her to shine, and oh, the places you’ll go…
The UnCrash Course: Self-Kindness ways to set-back proof your recovery.

Classes will range from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the concepts. Prices will vary according to the length and depth of each unit, and I am committed to keeping the prices affordable. As always, I will continue to offer lots of free support: here on the website, in the Ithaca support group meetings, and at the Mama’s Comfort Camp Facebook refueling station. But the classes need to cost money.

Yes. Money. Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with money…
I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that PPDtoJoy and now Mama’s Comfort Camp are not a game for me. I am committed to helping an ever growing number of mothers all over the world. And I can’t do that unless I’m also generating income to support my family.  Charging for classes not only helps me, it absolutly increases the effectiveness of the whole endeavor. After all, money is the most effective commitment devise out there: scientific research in economics and psychology repeatedly shows that when we pay for something, we are much more likely to make good use of it and benefit from it more deeply than if we got the same thing for free (you know exactly what mean, right?). Talk about a win-win situation for everybody.

Again, prices will be affordable, I will offer barter options and each class will include “a free spread-the-love spot” that you could win by helping me spread the word by sharing a link to the page with your people online and in real life. Also, all the classes will be recorded and will include online support forums, so lifestyle and location shouldn’t become barriers either: even if your work or time-zone get in the way of attending the live teleclasses, you will still get the full value from each class.

This is scary. Asking people to pay me to do the work I wish I could just do for free ain’t easy on this mama. But it’s necessary for my sake, and for the sake of this endeavor to truly benefit my students. And it will invariably turn some people away. That’s just life. It’s time to stretch my comfort zone and trust that the mamas who need these classes will choose to sign up for them. And together we will practice stuff that really should be taught in school. Until these skills are part of the mainstream curriculum, I make it my business to teach them right here.  The UnGuilt Trip is my Joy School. And I will not let my fears get in the way.

As I continue my  work and my journey, I will never be a victim again. From now on, Victor is my middle name.
Um, make that Victoria.

– – –

So I invite you to check out the course page for (Not) Secret (Not) Weapon. Several mamas told me that just reading the page made them feel comforted. Susan said that it gave her the same anticipatory joy she feels when drawing a bubble bath for herself, Thank you Susan!

Comment Magic: I always hope for your comments, I love to read your voice. But on this post I will truly appreciate your kind words. Stretching the comfort zone is a whole lot easier when you let me know that my words and my work resonate with you. Thank you.

9 Responses to Victims, Victors, and Classes
  1. latest trends in social media 2011
    September 25, 2014 | 7:21 am

    latest trends in social media 2011

    Victims, Victors, and Classes | PPD to Joy

  2. Kristin Novotny (@littlemamajama)
    June 9, 2012 | 9:24 pm

    Yael, it is so awesome that you are doing this. Thank you for stretching your comfort zone in order to help others. Your work touches so many lives.

    Congrats on this new endeavor! I hope to take one of your classes in the future, once we get settled in our new state and home. *hugs*
    Kristin Novotny (@littlemamajama) recently posted..Arming Myself With Information

  3. kiki wilson-hashman
    June 7, 2012 | 12:50 am

    omg the sleep deprivation companion needs to be taught in hospitals to all new moms !!!!!!!!!!!! yes I did use that many exclamation points

  4. Katherine
    June 5, 2012 | 10:41 pm

    They don’t get anything else from the Olympics themselves, but they get fame in their own country and usually wind up with advertising contracts, as well as some monetary recognition from their governments.
    Katherine recently posted..Hot Tub Spare Parts

  5. Rori
    June 4, 2012 | 8:13 pm

    I’m so happy to have found some support for ppd – something not one of my friends can understand – they think being a mom is all ivory soap and baby powder because they have no kids :) my doctor just wants to medicate me but i want to , need to, learn some coping skills instead. so looking forward to the class – i signed up today!

  6. Andrea
    June 4, 2012 | 1:53 pm

    I think it is wonderful that you have put this together. I just signed up today & I am very excited about this!!

    I find it inspirational to have gone through a hard time, overcome it & then go on to helping others. There is nothing wrong with doing what you love & supporting your family!
    Andrea recently posted..keep your head up

  7. Jaime
    June 4, 2012 | 8:37 am

    Wishing you and those who sign up tremendous success with this. I’m going to email you with an idea…
    Jaime recently posted..Summer’s Almost Here!

  8. Alison@Mama Wants This
    June 4, 2012 | 5:02 am

    Yael, I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing this, and there is nothing wrong with earning an income from this.

    I love Susan’s idea of a gift card – wonderful!
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..The Things He Says

  9. Susan
    June 3, 2012 | 10:58 pm

    I am always inspired by your honesty and genuine writing. Of course you need to support your family! And if you can do it while helping others and doing something you’re passionate about, then you really are fortunate. People spend money on their physical health all the time – you’re not asking them to do anything except treat their mental health the same way.

    Can I suggest offering a class “giftcard”? Some way a loved one or friend could purchase a class for a mom they know in need of unguilt? Mamas might not shell out the money for themselves, but would accept it as a gift. The gift of mental health. The gift of self care. :)

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Trackback URL http://www.ppdtojoy.com/blog/victim-victors-classes/trackback/