Today I’m talking with Calion Smith about cultivating joy, peace, and prosperity after abuse. He’s founder of Uncover Your Joy, a peer support network founded by and for abuse survivors. The survivor of sex trafficking and abuse, Calion has lived with PTSD, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and a few other disorders. Today he’s telling his story of survival, finding joy in the pain, merging his alters into a single identity, and how he has taken his experiences and used what he’s learned to help others who have survived traumatic life events.
What to Listen For:
- Surviving sex trafficking and abuse from a young age
- Having the sense of wanting more than the typical ways to heal and cope with PTSD
- How a little pink flower led to a turning point
- How being groomed for sex trafficking resulted in his identity forming in a different way
“My brain had to separate that into compartments because one whole brain that remembered all of the trauma I was going through was just too much to handle. So my brain created these sort of units in a way. And each of those developed just like a normal child would have their own personality.”
- Reconciling all of his identities to form a brand new person that didn’t exist before 2020
- The critical role remembering played in this reconciliation
- The power of inner dialogue in dealing with our emotions
- Getting help starting with his PTSD about six months after escaping his victimizer
“I know that I went through trauma, and I obviously needed support for that. So I started getting help for PTSD.”
- A bunch of factors stacking up to create a lot of exhaustion and trauma
- Dissociating, losing track of time, not remembering tasks like cleaning or eating
- Noticing different handwriting in his journal
- Exploring dissociative disorders with his therapist
- Getting an official diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder when an alternate personality showed up to therapy
- Reorienting in small instances
“We’d go through periods of trauma memories and reorienting to those and gathering more information, but it was really only when the full narrative became clear that reorientation really happened because, you know, DID was something that I had lived with since I knew myself as a person.”
- Learning new lessons in pain through the process
- Building to a moment where he knew he was ready to go through final fusion
“It was very sudden, actually. There were four adult alters—those of us that felt like we were adults—and there was one child alter, which is a very common experience. He was five years old, is how he identified.
So the four adults in the system, which is what a group of alters is called, the four adults of us, we basically just had this moment of like, I feel like final fusion is right. It just hit one night where it was just like, that suddenly feels right. And it never had before. So, reorienting to that in like coming to terms with that and accepting, it was a very emotional process and very grief-focused, because it also meant letting go of who we all individually were.”
- The emotions and grief processing that came with this moment
- What the process taught him about trauma reorientation and reorienting to life events
- The sense of being all the people he was before, but also totally new as well
- The key roles that radical acceptance and validation play in recovery
- The uncertainty that followed his fusion
- The challenge of presenting himself to the world in one body with five alters
“It was very difficult before thinking if I go to this cafe looking this way, then I show up to that same cafe looking this way are they going to be really confused or are they going to be questioning? Are they going to be looking at me weird and things like that?
It was this constant dividing up of life. And that’s a huge thing that I’ve been able to just let go of is like, I can go where I want. However, I want to look and recognize; it’s still me showing up all of those places.”
- The thing he initially missed after his fusion
- One of the coolest things he’s noticed post fusion
- How what he gained outweighs what was lost
- Experiencing some of his most joyous moments in the midst of some of his most painful moments
- Calion’s unique take on joy – you won’t want to miss this part!
“When we let that energy go, it makes room for that joy to shine through alongside the pain.”
- Our natural human nature to distance ourselves from pain
- The power in showing up for yourself
- One simple yet challenging trick to drop your resistance and make space for something else
- How survival seeded the work he does today
- Creating a community around spirituality and mindfulness to give himself accountability to survive while being abused by his best friend
- Turning to personal development and feeling like none of it helped, and most of it was completely invalidating
“It felt like everything that I was reading was from people who didn’t know what it was like to really hurt in this sort of way.
And so I was like, okay, this is frustrating. This is painful. This is invalidating. So I’m going to start writing about these techniques and these things that I’m reading in a way that makes it accessible.”
- How joy has been a coping mechanism for him since he was being trafficked
- Examining the key pieces of his journey that have allowed him to access more joy and building accessible programs around this
About Calion Smith:
Calion is passionate about helping survivors of abuse cultivate joy, peace, and prosperity in their lives. He’s a survivor of sex trafficking, facing abuse from early childhood to adulthood, and lives with PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a few other conditions. Because of this, he’s a disability advocate and hopes to inspire others with his own journey, while fostering a community of survivors all seeking joy within themselves–as he believes it’s possible to underneath whatever pain we hold. This inspired him to create his signature Prosperity Path Program. Calion is also a watercolor artist and dog-lover.
Website and social media links:
Prosperity Path Program:
Prosperity Path Webinar:
Access our free 8-part Journey Mapping™ sampler program and begin uncovering the purpose of your path at www.TalesFromTheJourney.tv/Free/.
Read my memoir, Unravel: Rising Up and Coming Back from a Season of Living that Damn Near Killed Me at www.TheUnravelBook.com.