My Dark Nights of the Soul

My Dark Nights of the Soul

The manuscript of my newest book, On the Edge, had been written for well over a year, sitting on a shelf in my office, collecting dust.

It was my life’s story but I was too fearful to publish it.

What will people think of me? 

What will my mother do?

Will she destroy me?

Can she hurt me any worse than she already has?

Or will telling my story help others? 

I know that writing it saved my life.

When I first shared it with the Professor of Coaching at the S.W.A.T Institute (Simply Woman Accredited Trainer), Izabela Viskapova, she had a very challenging time reading it, she told me.

Too raw. Too real. Too painful. She could barely get through it.

Would people really want to read this, she wondered?

I wasn’t sure, I told her. I just knew that I had to write it. In fact, I couldn’t not write it. But her reaction to the book scared me.

Was my life really ‘that’ bad?

Once Izabela realized I was serious about publishing my memoir, she got serious, too. Izabela is a brilliant researcher, who has a Master’s degree in both law and psychology.

“Crystal, do you realize you have what psychologists have recently diagnosed as ‘Complex PTSD’? You have experienced trauma like no one I’ve ever met.”

Dr Judith Herman of Harvard University suggests that a new diagnosis, Complex PTSD, is needed to describe the symptoms of long-term trauma. Another name sometimes used to describe the cluster of symptoms referred to as Complex PTSD is Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (DESNOS).

Complex PTSD is characterized as “Many traumatic events (e.g., car accidents, natural disasters, etc.) of time-limited duration. However, in some cases, people experience chronic trauma that continues or repeats for months or years at a time. The current PTSD diagnosis often does not fully capture the severe psychological harm that occurs with prolonged, repeated trauma.”

Wow…for the first time in my life, I understood how and why my brain had been responding to stress in a particular way: to protect me. The trouble was my own ‘protective coping mechanisms’ had begun imploding on me. 

I had this extraordinary life…. and yet, the Dark Nights of the Soul were taking over. I had moments of complete and utter sorrow that I could no longer shake off.

I had to write.

It was all I knew to do.

On the Edge (small version)I had to get this stuff out of me. I had to ‘defragment’ my computer, so to speak. My brain’s data had run out of storage. I had no more space. I had no room left to expand. I was imploding. Exploding. An intrinsic value within was forcing my expansion similarly to the Big Bang Theory; I’d later joke.

There were many days that my hands would shake as I was purging emotions . . . as I was allowing myself to feel, to remember, and to tell my story.

I would sometimes vomit while I was writing. I gagged a lot. With each recovered memory, I’d heave. I couldn’t believe what I now remembered in such detail! I’d cry. Tears streaming down my face, sometimes for days, as I’d continue letting it all out.

And then finally the shaking stopped. The words slowed down. The suffering began to subside. I could eat some food and hold it down. I’d lost ten pounds in a week as I wrote and wrote and wrote. I’d joke that my next book should be called The Emotional Release Diet: How to lose ten pounds in a week and keep it off!

My shoulders were finally relaxing down a little from my ears, my neck pain was letting up, my locked hip unlocked, and my back stopped hurting; I could start jogging again!

My heart wasn’t pounding as quickly inside my chest, and I didn’t feel like reaching for that glass of wine as often. (I’ll always love a good glass of wine. My husband says it’s the nectar of the Gods. He was raised Catholic. They’re allowed to drink, you know? LOL And yes, he loves my holy wine best!)

I won’t lie: Doing this work was really scary . . . at first. I actually started worrying that I might explode inside of my chest, just like the Big Bang Theory. There was a lot of pressure coming up and out of me. Massive Emotional Release. Overwhelming at times. All I could do was sit with it. And so, I sat with it. I allowed it. I stopped resisting and started trusting that I had to release these toxic stories for once and for all.

The good news: I never exploded! Indeed, the chaos was eventually quieted. I started to feel calm. Safe. Surrendered. Powerful. Real. Expansive. I would never have believed this was possible unless I was experiencing it for myself.

I started to feel the quiet inside growing bigger until it started to feel nice. Not nice in a ‘nicey nice lovely’ kind of way but nice in a ‘holy fucking shit this is good’ kind of way. The real way. The only way. The truthful way.

I could be whatever I needed to be. I could feel whatever I needed to feel. I was all things: I was Simply . . . Woman!

Besides, it was amazing what I could actually remember . . . once I was ready!

Freedom. Relief. Courage. Love. Joy. Peace.

In owning my story, it no longer owns me.

My passion and life’s purpose is to help you find your own freedom, relief, courage, love, joy, and peace. It is possible.

I promise you.

I have created a course called The 12-Week Emotional Edge TeleCourse that featured three times in 2016!

We get started Wednesday, May 3rd…and it’s magical!

I’m taking a small group of women–step by step–through the healing process in the safest, kindest, most empowering way possible, and I’m inviting you to join us.

I will hold your hand until you are ready to let go and soar in your own life.

Join me….. Join us. Join yourself in your own exciting healing opportunity!

Click here now!



P.S. Let me help you own your own story too! Let’s do the 12-Week Emotional Edge TeleCourse together! CLICK HERE for details!

P.S.S. We get started May 3rd!

Crystal is the founder and CEO of The S.W.A.T. Institute. Her personal story is the perfect backdrop to become a voice for the next era of the women’s movement. Crystal has overcome insurmountable odds to create a life of joy and purpose. From a tough beginning—her parents turbulent divorce at age 12, a stranger rape at 14, extended sexual abuse from a family friend, moving out at 15, battling the early stages of cervical cancer at only 17, suffering a traumatic head injury at age 20 that left her to deal with unannounced seizures, marrying young and gaining over 80 pounds in her pregnancies, then struggling through a difficult divorce and near bankruptcy before becoming a single mother to two beautiful girls (one who nearly lost her own life in 2010)—Crystal has dedicated her life to helping women transcend their victimhood, martyrdom, self-limiting beliefs, fears, and patterns.