Javelin Hardy is a poet, counselor, and social worker. She drew on her training and background to tell her own story of recovery from abuse in The Girl Inside Me, a collection of poetry, stories, and historic photographs. She just released her second book of poems, It Takes a Journey to Heal.
Javelin recently answered questions for Rose City Reader about her two books and her work with trauma survivors and their families:
How did you come to write The Girl Inside Me, your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was a small child and this book is a collaboration of poems and stories I’ve written over time.
Your poetry deals with your own journey through sexual abuse any trauma. Was it difficult to tell such an intimate story?
No, it wasn’t because I decided I had been suffering in silence way too long and it was time for my voice to be heard. Using my voice was a way to release pain and embrace my healing.
Who is your intended audience and what do you hope your readers will gain from your books?
The audience is overcomers and survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trauma.
You are now a social worker and counselor. Can you tell us about your practice?
I currently counsel students at college and in my private practice I do a lot of training, education, and one-on-sessions in the African American community. Most of my work is on healing from trauma, abandonment, and family addiction.
What did you learn from writing your book – either about the subject of the book or the writing process – that most surprised you?
I learned I was dealing with generational trauma and learned behaviors. I’ve shared with people before that I didn’t get my masters to become a counselor. I received my masters to understand the dysfunctions of my family and how I can break cycles of abuse and addiction.
Can you recommend any other books about healing after child sexual abuse?
All of Susan Anderson books: The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Black Swan: The Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery, and Taming your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment. Also Healing from the Trauma of Abuse: A Women’s Workbook by Mary Ellen Copeland and Maxine Harris, PhD and books on Bowen Systems Theory.
What resources would you recommend for survivors of child sexual abuse? How about for their loved ones and supporters?
Find a counselor who is skilled in Trauma therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and family systems, and find support groups for family around the same therapy.
What can friends and family of abuse victims do to support them?
Believe them, listen, and allow them to speak their truth. Please don’t try to tell them what worked for you or people you may know. Everyone’s trauma is not the same.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve been given as someone working to help abuse survivors?
“Healing is a Process and sometimes we have to walk alone.” Which is a poem in my second book, It takes a Journey to Heal. You can’t rush anyone, understand your client will go through the stages of grief several of times and sometimes go backwards. They will need a loving, kind, compassionate person to work with them through their healing.
What’s next? What are you working on now?
I released my second book, It Takes a Journey to Heal, this past July and I'm working on book number three for maybe next summer or fall 2019.
JAVELIN'S BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE FROM DANCING MOON PRESS, OR ASK YOUR LOCAL BOOK SELLER TO ORDER THEM.