My Story…

So you can feel me, I would like to give a short overview of my own journey from being in trauma to healing and awareness. I am well informed in how early trauma manifests in adulthood as I have lived experience. Unconsciously I carried emotional wounding and imprints from childhood into my adulthood, where I lived my life through subconscious memories, beliefs and programming, living through a lens of trauma and fear, in survival wanting to be safe, and desperately just wanting to be loved, held, seen, valued and heard.

I was reared with a father who was a chronic alcoholic, violent and abusive on all levels. He was legally removed from the household when I was 10 years old and I have had no contact with him (or my relations on his side) from the age of 15. I am now 35. I am currently in the process of repairing and healing this karmic trauma. A few weeks ago I sat with my aunt (fathers sister who I had not been in contact with since my confirmation day) and my cousin (fathers niece), in my grandparents house (which I hadn’t stepped foot in, in 23 years). The next step in this process will be to meet my father in person, which I am apprehensive about but so very open to as the root of all my pain goes back to him. I am meeting him to clear the energetic entanglement, so I can be deeply and fully free. I am breaking my family cycle. I want to clear my ancestral line for when I have my own children, they will be free of my family trauma, and a new narrative will be created, one that is pure.

But first let me rewind and just share with you a very small glimpse of my childhood…

The morning I was born, he was absent, and sat in a public-house. I recall spending a lot of my childhood in public-houses, playing with beer mats and eating king crisps. I can’t recall having any real playtime. I don’t recall many happy times at all; all I remember is that there was always chaos, screaming, shouting, and extreme noise in my childhood and I witnessed stuff that no child should bare witness to. He was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive, ‘narcissistic’ in his behaviour patterns, manipulating and controlling, and emotionally absent and vacant. My mother on the other hand was very soft, a people-rescuer who self-abandoned all the time; she believed she could ‘fix’ my father. She was extremely co-dependent on myself, my brother and her parents to feel loved and supported. She was also completely reactive and would explode from time to time. Through conscious awareness work I now know both parents were playing out their own childhood trauma and also trauma passed down from their parents and grandparents. They were showing up how they were able to – survival. There was complete enmeshment in the home, with regular legal interaction. I remember on one occasion myself and my mother trying to find refuge in a local Women’s Aid Centre after my father being physically and verbally abusive. On another occasion we fled Ireland and sought refuge in London for 3 weeks. My father actually tried to strangle my mother when she was pregnant on me, and my brother had to pull him off her – he was 6 at the time. I can recall so many memories of him punching her, and hitting my brother. I remember him shouting into my face also when I couldn’t solve my math equations, shouting “are you *ucking stupid?”. On other occasions I recall seeing him blotto drunk and soiling the house, while also leaving my mother short of house money which meant there was sometimes no food in the fridge. He would also turn the electricity off from the mains which meant we went to bed shivering cold. The family environment and dynamic was seriously and chronically traumatic to me as a child, even though I did not understand this at the time as it was all so “normal” every day. I could tell so many more recalls, the stories are endless.

Prior to becoming conscious of how this trauma played out into my adulthood, and I began a healing process, it affected and manifested in every single aspect of my life. I developed an eating disorder from a very young age, battling obesity, followed by bulimia, binge eating, and yoyo dieting. I had chronic body image complexities, probably up until the age of 30. I placed my self-worth in how I appeared and never felt good enough. I was bullied intensely as a child and teen by peers for being over-weight and from a dysfunctional family. This added to my deep rejection wound. I then developed a binge drinking disorder throughout my 20’s, drinking heavily every weekend, to fit in and belong with peers. It also was an aid to help with self-confidence and self-esteem on nights out; I couldn’t go out without having a half bottle of vodka consumed. I always placed my self-worth, self-love and self-image in things externally to me as I did not know how to achieve this on an internal plane. I was never taught how to do so by my caregivers. I threw myself into third level education to help with feelings of validation and worthiness. I have multiple degrees, including two 1:1 Masters, which I always formerly prided myself on. This over-doing and over-achieving behavioural pattern also radiated into the world of health and fitness. I began exercising from the age of 18, around the time I developed bulimia, using it as a means of deflecting from my inner pain and to self-regulate. I joined the Irish National Powerlifting Team from 2013-2017. I went on to win multiple National and European titles, a World title, and many records. I appeared on the Late Late Show, many national news forums, magazines, radio shows, to share my story. This again was a means of helping me to feel validated, loved, seen and heard. But it never did fill that void, which left me feeling constantly unworthy, disconnected and searching for more – this behavioural pattern followed on into the world of Bodybuilding and then I found myself dabbing into Crossfit and competing in this also.

Through my healing I also came to the realisation that my choice of career had also been informed by my conditioning and early wounds. From the age of 15 I knew I wanted to be a teacher. And so set out to become that – anything I put my focus on I achieved and this was all entangled in my low self worth and needing external validation. I unconsciously wanted to save children, rescue them, hold them and love them, as a means of filling my own internal voids. It is not surprising how I always found myself teaching in “disadvantaged” schools, in environments and areas that resonated with my own upbringing (single parent families, records of substance abuse) and where I grew up. My inner child felt safe here. My wounding even led me into Special Education where students were fully dependent on me and smothered me with love, kindness, gifts, affirmation – felt fully seen, heard, valued, accepted, wanted. Teaching also offered me stability, safety, security, a safe regular income, the prospects of getting a mortgage – all informed by my early traumas and the unsafety felt in the home. When my father was removed from the family home, we nearly lost our home as mam struggled to meet mortgage payments. My father had pretty much drank the mortgage and left us dry. My grandparents had to step in and rescue us, and helped my mam raise us.

Throughout my 20’s I avoided committed romantic relationships as I had deep rooted fears around vulnerability, trust, intimacy and physical touch. When I did manifest a potential romantic interest, they were always emotionally available. I fell in love at 32 for the first time, and for the first time in my life, I allowed my walls to come fully down and I became ‘naked’. To no surprise, I manifested the archetype of my father. He was alcoholic, ‘narcissistic’ and manipulating, verbally abusive, passive aggressive, and emotionally disconnected. He was reared in a single-parent family and had experienced very similar traumatic ACE’s, but his trauma manifested differently to mine. I had a seriously anxious attachment with him, and needed constant reassurance from him to make me feel safe. Deep down I was terrified that he’d abandon me, so I clung on. He could never help me to feel safe as he was unable to communicate across his emotions, while he also loved to be in control. Being in a space of consciousness, I now see that his ACE caused him to dissociate, and develop avoidant behavioural patterns. The relationship was chaotic, with cycles of up and down, push pull dynamics. It was a severe trauma bond, and the relationship was a reinaction of my childhood trauma and relationship dynamic with my parents. I became my mother, self-abandoning trying to fix him. My worst fear then manifested. He abandoned me suddenly with no explanation, and went on to date another woman just 3 weeks after we split. My whole world collapsed. I found myself in a seriously dark place and having regular suicidal thoughts. My Nervous System was in overdrive and I couldn’t process or regulate my emotions and bodily responses. I had loss of appetite, constant shaking, outer body experiences and a complete emotional breakdown. I crashed my car on one occasion on the M50 and was left with mild whiplash – I wasn’t in my body at all. I reverted to taking anti-depressants and xanex which numbed my pain. In December 2020 I hit rock bottom and I called on divine source to help guide me out of the darkness. Like magic, I was guided to four people who helped me to see, understand and embody the truth. They helped me to transition swiftly off anti-depressants so I could feel my feelings, nurture myself and learn the tools of self-regulation. No more numbing out.  I began working with a spiritual mentor who did schematherapy with me (similar to soul regression), a spiritual healer who is also a psychologist, a metaphysician who helped me understand geopathy and energy systems, as well as a Reiki energy healer who has studied psychiatry. I began deeply healing on all levels of my psyche, resetting and rewiring my internal system, healing my nervous system and releasing trauma from my soma. Gradually and consistently, I peeled away the layers. I chose to self-inquire and not to self-abandon anymore. Throughout this shadow dissolution process I began studying in a Higher Diploma in Traumatology, Polyvagal Theory and PTSD with City Colleges Dublin (the lecturer being a top psychotherapist in Ireland),. I studied Vagal Nerve Toning with Rewire Therapy Institute (an American institute specialising in somatic therapy training, founded by an experienced Psychiatry Nurse). I also completed numerous training and attunement courses in Energy Healing, and began my training in Shamanic Healing (working closely with an experienced Shamanic practitioner)

I started to feel and see super clearly….

When you heal and see yourself fully, you cannot unsee. As the can of worms open, it cannot be closed. As my internal world changed, my external began to vibrationally match and the old began to crumble and die…

And this is what lead to me creating Firefly Therapy, which I established in October 2021. I walked away from a teaching career which I had been safe in for 11 years with merely a vision of what I wanted to create. Since then I have helped many souls on their own personal journey’s. I am the guiding torch of light.

My conviction is to be consciously connected to all there is, so that I move forward in my life free of the imprint of trauma. Every day I open my eyes, I choose Love over Fear, living rather than surviving, forgiveness over resent, presence over disembodiment, listening to my gut rather than my head, living as authentically as I can be and speaking my truth no matter what.

And my purpose here is to help others do likewise,

to be in awareness,

to be free,

to be embodied,

to expand,

to live life so unbelievably fully.

One response to “My Story…”

  1. Kim Cunningham-Moorat⁰pp Avatar
    Kim Cunningham-Moorat⁰pp

    Dearest Danielle,

    OMG, is there anyway that you can work with someone based in Galway. My daughter (17) is in desperate need of your kind of therapy. I am genuinely desperate and cannot find a therapist who can help her get rid of so much family related trauma. Please let me know if you know of a Galway base counsellor like you or are able to help us in galway.v


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