Suzanne Smart

Suzanne Smart head and shoulders
Hi! I’m Suzanne; a proud Mum & Mamgu (Welsh for Grandmother), English Teacher, Usui Reiki Master Teacher, NLP Practitioner, Mental Health First Aider, Counsellor and Coach from South Wales who currently lives and works in West Yorkshire. I like to consider myself as the honorary English settler who takes a piece of Wales with her wherever she goes.

I spent the early part of my working life as an admin assistant and P.A. before transitioning to education, where I have been honoured to use my many skills. Currently, I teach English part time at a 6th form college, which I joined in September, 2019. As well as serving clients in my Reiki practice for almost 20 years, for the past year I have been building my Coaching business, incorporating healing and NLP. As a result of what I do, people who have suffered from physical, sexual and/or mental abuse are able to reverse the negative imprint of their maltreatment, then positively impact their lives, creating a life of purpose for themselves and a legacy of peace for their loved ones and communities.

The best part of what I do? Help my clients regain their self-worth, face their fears and become the fabulous people they were born to be, able to live life on their terms. Unquestionably.

My approach to Coaching is largely inspired by my own experience of surviving two abusive relationships and facing my deepest, hidden fears, which you’ll find reflected in my method: P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. I.M.P.R.I.N.T. Lasting Impressions for Transformation.

My mission is to reach and help as many beautiful souls as I can to conquer their fears and recognise their value using my coaching, my writing and my voice.
Award Category Finalist
Award Submission Title
P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. I.M.P.R.I.N.T. - Lasting Impressions for Transformation
Logline
A narcissistic/sexual/physical abuse survivor’s guide to recognising and relinquishing the fear triggers, positively impact their lives by reconnecting with their inner spark, finding their self esteem, creating a life of purpose for themselves and a legacy of peace for their loved ones and communities.
My Submission
Chapter 1
Past to Present
“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”
Baruch Spinoza
Whenever I am casually asked “So what do you do, Suzanne?” My reply often elicits a mixture of responses; in no particular order - widened eyes, a pregnant pause, inflated cheeks, a long, deliberate exhalation of breath and a meditative shake of the head, followed by, “Wow; how do you sleep at night?!”
Being a reflective person, the first time I was faced with this question it troubled me (the question, that is; not what I do). The truth, though, is that I am very much at peace about my practice and the issues I help my clients to overcome. That side of the coin is extremely rewarding; knowing that I have had a hand in assisting beautiful souls to conquer their deepest fears and feelings of guilt, shame and frustration. Knowing that I have facilitated their journey from an often hidden and painful, sometimes blame-ridden, past to an acceptance of not only their experiences but also of their reactions and outcomes. Knowing that their present is now a springboard to their future, full of hope, optimism and wonder; that they are now in the driving seat of a vehicle that has only one key: their inner vision. No manipulation, no pressure, no maltreatment from others.
Powerful stuff.
The other side of the coin, however; like the dark side of the moon (hidden from our view) is a different story. The knowledge that there are still people who continue to experience trauma and abuse from others, that troubles me and sometimes keeps me up at night. Understanding there are also those who no longer face the acts but still carry the memories; still carry the triggers: the sound of a familiar car engine pulling up to the curb or into the driveway or a key in the door; the smell of a particular after-shave or perfume; the feel of a certain fabric or item which can all send them reeling into an instant state of fear.
This awareness is disquieting.
If you are reading this book, I will presume that you are, have been or know of someone or others who have suffered physical, sexual or mental (narcissistic) abuse. You may be aware of the triggers mentioned above and indeed have an extensive list of your own. I too, had my triggers; ones that would, in the blink of an eye, create a chemical reaction inside of me that would see me go from being a composed, joyful, spirited person to losing a grip on all of my mental capacities (of which I have many), as though I was reeling from a sideways swipe, crumbling inside and feeling my will to live drain from me. Those of you who have either experienced or witnessed this chain reaction from hearing, seeing or sensing a trigger to partial or total shutdown of a perfectly rational person know the heartache it can bring. Not only to the individual involved, but to the people around them.
Abusing others is not a new culture. It was born alongside humanity and somehow etched its DNA into the hearts and minds of those who chose to then, choose to now and will continue to choose to listen to its insidious whispers. It’s important to recognise that therein lies the fault. Those who commit grievous offences on others are to blame – not the victims. This can be difficult to believe, when taking the myths and misconceptions into account. I am sure some, if not all, of you have been subject to these myths – usually by well-meaning people in your circles. Phrases such as: ‘well, you’ve made your bed, so now you have to lie in it,’ ‘don’t dwell on it… it’s not as bad as you think… keep yourself busy,’ ‘get some anti-depressants down you; take the edge off’ and ‘are you sure you didn’t provoke this?’ These and other such myths relating to the suffering of those facing the reality of abuse – on any level – continue to pervade society. They are blame shifters, moving the liability from the abuser to the abused, very often causing confusion, which leads to victim self-blame, self-loathing, the erosion of all self-esteem and helplessness. This cycle then assists the abuser, reinforcing their behaviour.
Misconceptions are also far reaching with what seems to be a consensus surrounding the validity of abuse. One such delusion is that abuse is signified by violence. Abuse comes in many forms, with violence coming into the equation once a person’s self-esteem has been chipped away. This gradual depletion of inner resources makes it more difficult for the victim to leave the relationship as they have begun to rely on their abuser. So ‘just walking away’ is not an option for some as their mental capacity has been compromised – another fallacy upheld by the blame-shifters.
Victims and survivors know the depths of the soul that need to be reached and searched before any moves can be made towards leaving, much less to actually walk away from a toxic situation. Relationships cover many levels; however, as far as domestic abuse is concerned, it can be extremely complex, owing to the extended considerations i.e. children, family members and the family home to mention a few. For many victims and survivors, financial constraints may keep them in a relationship until the pain becomes too much to bear and the decision is made to leave regardless. I know this personally, having left a relationship taking my girls, their beds and belongings, my belongings, a settee, the washer-dryer and a few pots and pans. This represented my whole world up to that point. A good friend of mine remarked on only spotting two beds, not three and swiftly disappeared, returning with a fold out zed-bed, which would serve me faithfully for many months. I am sure many of you can relate to this; making the decision, making the move and making the choice of your peace of mind above that of the house and the trinkets (and memories) it holds.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that ‘about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime’ and that ‘globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.’ So out of 3.82 billion women on the planet, approximately 1.3 billion have been or are being subject to domestic abuse. There is a lot of pain in this world.
Likewise, abuse targeted in corporate and other employment situations is now known to take place at the very highest levels of society, as highlighted by the ‘#MeToo’ movement (among others), which exists to ‘publicise their allegations of sex crimes committed by powerful and/or prominent men.’ You will be aware of the names involved as well as the resulting court cases and convictions.
It has to be said that men can also be subject to abuse, with 1 in 5 men suffering abuse and 30 men per year being killed, compared to 1 in 4 women (Leeway Support). Abuse is rife and for those who are in the storm it can seem like a never-ending chain of events. Even for the victims and survivors who have made that move, it can feel like there is no way out of the mental enclosure they find themselves in.
Any kind of abuse, be it physical, sexual or narcissistic, creates fear that paralyses victims and survivors. They feel trapped not only in their physical situation, but also in their minds, where there is a daily battle to escape the recurring memories of their maltreatment. Through extensive research in my capacity as the healer and the healed, I have witnessed that these memories are very often buried so deeply inside that they are compounded, only available to the subconscious. We leave the physical relationship, job or other abusive condition and although we feel liberated and show no physical signs or marks that we have ever suffered, our experiences are never far away, following us around like unkempt, stray animals, slipping into our present day experiences, then fleetingly leaving their marks before scuttling away into the ether. This may well be as a result of a trigger (as mentioned earlier) or a lapse in security at our mind’s gateway.
I feel this is a great time to point out that your pain is real, be it physical or mental. Any agony felt mentally, given enough attention, will manifest physically so requires urgent attention. Throwing pills at it or just talking to friends or family about the way you feel or what is going on in your life is not enough to rid yourself of the effects of abuse; you are only placing the proverbial sticking plaster over the symptoms, while the source of your pain keeps on growing, like a ball of steel deep inside your core. Something else I discovered as a healer, is that an abuser leaves an imprint on your soul; a mark, which they return to time and again to remind your inner being that you belong to them. As a Reiki Master Teacher, NLP Practitioner and Coach, I have seen and helped my clients remove many such imprints; as a client I have had my own removed, which led to me researching and developing my P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. I.M.P.R.I.N.T. method, to help as many victims and survivors that I can.
Broken hearts, minds and souls cannot serve you; it’s impossible! It’s a simple equation:
BROKEN HEARTS, MINDS AND SOULS = BROKEN LIVES.
It follows, therefore, that if you cannot serve you, then you cannot reach your full potential because we are all born to serve. Service is what brings the world together. A singer can command the attention of a stadium full of ardent admirers, who sing along, pose for selfies, buy the CDs or downloads and rave about how wonderful it was for years to come. This is the power of serving. Likewise, there is the attentive secretary who turns up each day, makes coffee, delivers mail and ensures her employer’s day runs smoothly – day in, day out. Then there’s the teacher who proudly wishes their students farewell as they move on with the required qualifications, having faced years of cajoling and sneers, with dogged determination to ‘get them through’ no matter what. Whichever capacity you are serving in, your service is valuable. YOU are valuable.
My mission is to help as many people as I possibly can to recognise their value, reverse the negative impact of abuse, then positively imprint their lives, leaving a legacy of peace for themselves, their loved ones and their communities. Once I have done this, I’ll move on to serve more. It is our basic human right to live free from fear inflicted by others.
So, this is where we deal with coming from the past to the present – the ‘P’ of the process; your first step towards wholeness. The journey from pain to pleasure is intense and gruelling. As well as harrowing memories, it will bring up aspects of your character that you may not like. This is positive, as it’s the perfect time to change what you don’t like and create a ‘new you.’ The problem with abuse and negative imprinting is that it’s all too easy to forget who you are; who you really are, because your identity is stripped away leaving you empty and exhausted. You then have no idea what to refill your ‘self’ with so your abuser gets that privilege. Although this totally changes your outlook, there is always a small part of you that remembers who ‘you’ are, which is why even under the most abject situations of abuse you may still kick against the tide in some way. These are times when you remember that you are a ‘somebody’ but by pushing back you put yourself in danger as your abuser will find a way to ‘punish’ you. You’re between a rock and a hard place, not knowing which way to turn, especially since that waft of ‘somebody’ has now left you to fend for yourself. I call this the ‘overpowered to overthrown’ syndrome. When you are overpowered, it is instinctive to fight back in an effort to gain freedom from whatever is holding you down. Moreover, retaliating from the back foot leaves us at a disadvantage because we are reactive; not fighting from a position of power. Through history, we have all seen and heard the stories of those who have overcome immense oppression by fighting back against the odds. Whole establishments have fallen as a result of people remembering that they are ‘somebody’ and doing whatever was necessary to liberate themselves and their allies. They have taken back their power, and so can you.
On this journey I will gently take you through the ‘Trauma Triage’ process, where we look at different pain points throughout your life and relate them to corresponding feelings. We will then delve into how events and feelings have moulded your perception – the filter through which you view your actions and the actions of others. We are imprinted from birth. Our social conditioning experience as we move through the stages of our lives is built on with every encounter we have – our upbringing, interactions and our social circles all contribute to our likes, dislikes, values, strengths and weaknesses. Each of these has a label or an emotion we can hang onto it. Be they good or bad emotions, they will all play their part.
In recognising and naming the feelings & emotions then mapping them to your timeline, we are able to use this data to track significant events, your perception of them, your reaction to them and other such information. When you are happy that you have exhausted this exercise, we then move onto how the past is reflected in your present. How your feelings and emotions are made evident in your daily life. The Trauma Triage has been developed to name and shame negative emotions and feelings, while replacing them with positive ones. The strategy is to give you the courage to face your surface feelings, followed by your deepest, hidden emotions. Only then will you be in a position to ‘flip’ from negative to positive, replacing the fear with love, because after all, love and fear are at opposite ends of the scale and one replaces the other; they cannot exist cheek by jowl. Love will then become your MO (modus operandi), not fear. Once you are operating out of love, your confidence and self-esteem, which you may have thought was lost to you, will begin to shine through. The changes will be clear and remarked upon by those around you. Your face will have a glow, you will carry yourself with much more fortitude and you will have a certain je ne sais quoi that is there for all to see. The inner fog will have cleared and you will be well on your way to becoming the fabulous, determined, confident, intrepid, passionate soul you were born to be. You will also have your cheat sheet as a constant resource for when you unexpectedly leave the latch on the door of your subconscious mind, quickly moving you back to a love state.
Then, and only then, will you be in the best position to move on to your next step: Ownership, where you will build on your newfound conviction, strengthening you from deep within, allowing you to see a glimmer of what you can achieve once you have faced, fought and won your inner fears.
If you have survived being abused and have been ignoring your compacted emotions and maybe hit a wall or a ceiling in your life, it is quite possible that you need to clear them in order to move on and live your best life. Whatever is holding you back, whether it’s illness, non-promotion at work or financial struggles, get in touch (details on the help page) and we can have a chat about how Positive Imprint can help. I look forward to hearing from you. You were born to be exceptional. So be exceptional!

Comments

ibrahimyunus Wed, 10/14/2020 - 22:16

This was a very riveting read. I know that it takes a alot of courage, self belief and determination to write a strong piece of creative craft like that. It echoes so much truth and truly deserving of a not only finalist but the best award possible! Well done Suzanne! Great read and very touching to see your true power coming through in that story.