Before Karena Kilcoyne was a successful criminal defense attorney, trauma defined her early life. Her mother tried to give her away at birth. Her father went to the federal penitentiary when she was twelve, leaving the family poverty-stricken and Karena to care for her mentally unstable mother and three siblings.
After her mother died, she adopted her 9 year old brother and graduated from law school at the age of 24. She fought for the freedom of others, while imprisoning herself in shame, depression, and anxiety. Existing only in survival mode, she repeatedly recounted the stories she’d written about herself: that no one wanted her; that she would never be enough; that she could never be happy.
Countless people experience trauma.
Countless people experience the resulting shame.
What do we do when the pain of the past is too much to bear? When we feel empty and worthless despite our success and daily triumphs? We acknowledge the limiting story we’ve written for ourselves, and we rise above it.