EP 114: Healing From Military Sexual Trauma: Kimberly Clark

Diana Winklersexual assault

Kimberly’s lived experience exceeds most people’s imagination. She has lived through and survived multiple traumas including rape, narcissistic abuse, emotional abuse, trauma,  MST, PTSD, Addiction and alcoholism. Not only did she survive it, she advocates for other women and veterans who are still suffering. Kimberly was in active addiction for over a decade including in and out of jail, rehabs and psychiatric units but now Is a Certified Peer Support Specialist for the Louisiana department of Behavioral health,  the Louisiana State Leader for a national non-profit organization that raises awareness to Veteran Suicide, a published author, Motivational Speaker and most importantly a mother. She loves to speak about EMDR therapy, which changed her life. Kimberly wants to reach as many people as possible with her message of hope.

My book, Stuck Between Pleasure and Pleasing God, is available on Amazon.


To book me for speaking engagements you can go to www.kimberlyclarkwrites.com or email me at kimberlyclark7books@gmail.com

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Kimberly Clark

[00:00:00] Diana Winkler: Hello, thanks for stopping in to listen today. I am grateful for your support. I aim to be a positive place for you to come to hear some fantastic guests, hear some music, and get some tools to help you heal. It is a crazy world out there right now, and it’s especially made worse by social media, don’t you think?

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[00:01:32] You’ll also get my handpicked list of the best resources for abuse survivors. I only send a newsletter out quarterly, so I will not be invading your inbox every day.

[00:01:46] So we have a wonderful guest for you today. We’ve got Kimberly Clark in the house. Kimberly is a Navy veteran. We [00:02:00] haven’t had any veterans on the show lately. We’ve had some in the past. I always like to support our veterans and she’s a survivor of military sexual trauma after being medically discharged and diagnosed with PTSD, Kimberly struggled with severe drug addiction and alcoholism for the next 10 years.

[00:02:24] And after finding recovery, Kimberly went on to become a peer support specialist. She published her book, Stuck Between Pleasure and Pleasing God. And she’s a Louisiana state leader of a national non-profit organization raising awareness of veteran suicide. So ,

[00:02:48] we really love to support our veterans. Again I come from a military family, so I don’t want to delay any further, my conversation with [00:03:00] Kimberly Clark. Here she is.

[00:03:02] All right. Please welcome Kimberly Clark to the show.

[00:03:08] Kimberly Clark: Hey, glad to be here. Thank you for having

[00:03:11] Diana Winkler: me. We are so honored to have a Navy veteran on the show today. My dad is a Navy veteran. He served during Vietnam on an aircraft carrier, and I also have other family members in the military. So we like to thank you for your service.

[00:03:31] Of course.

[00:03:32] Kimberly Clark: Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it. Oh,

[00:03:36] Diana Winkler: you’re here to talk about your new book, Stuck Between Pleasure and Pleasing God. Yep. That’s it. And of course, we’re gonna hear your riveting story, your journey towards healing from multiple abuses, PTSD and drug abuse. Well first we we wanna hear about you.

[00:03:56] And I understand you have two wonderful kids.

[00:03:59] Kimberly Clark: [00:04:00] I do. I do. I have a 10 year old girl and a seven year old boy. Wow. They’re, Yeah,

[00:04:09] Diana Winkler: Those are great ages.

[00:04:11] Kimberly Clark: Yeah, they’re great indeed. Busy. Busy.

[00:04:15] And you’re a jujitsu practitioner?

[00:04:19] I am. I started doing Brazilian jujitsu about three years ago. Yeah. And I’m fell in love with it.

[00:04:25] Absolutely. I love it.

[00:04:28] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I’m a martial artist myself. And so we definitely want to unpack that more today as part of your story. So I wanted to start with setting the scene for us from the beginning. What was your childhood like? You were raised by a single mom, right?

[00:04:47] Kimberly Clark: Correct. Correct. I was raised by a single mom.

[00:04:49] My dad, he was alive, but he was a prison dad. Right. So he would come around every so often. He was an alcoholic, he would always be drinking or drunk, [00:05:00] always barefoot with the bottle of W L in his hands. And so, I knew him, but I knew of him, but I didn’t know him. Right? I didn’t know his personality.

[00:05:09] I didn’t know, what he acted like on a sober day. I didn’t know anything really about him. All I knew was that he was a drinker. And yeah, my mom she raised a, I’m one of three. I’m the baby of three, and she did, the best she could. And I truly believe she did an awesome job.

[00:05:28] I remember her. Always having a job to take care of her, sometimes two. She did what she had to do and no matter how tired she was, who was always in church. And so I do, I do value that she put morals and values and standards in me at an early age. And so even though I did stray away, stray far away, I knew what to come back to cause of that.

[00:05:58] But I had a loving [00:06:00] and supportive family. There was some, emotional abuse from family members and some I guess sexual assault cause it wasn’t sexual abuse. But besides that, it was loving and supportive. I had extremely low self-esteem because of their emotional abuse.

[00:06:14] I was always called ugly or too fat, or I was always used to something or not enough. And I felt so alone. I felt I just felt different. I knew I was different because of that. And I was always afraid to say no. Right? I didn’t know how to say no. I didn’t, I haven’t, I hadn’t found my voice growing up.

[00:06:36] Right? And so I think that had a lot to, I know that had a lot to do with it. Some of the emotional abuse and physical abuse. I mean, sexual assault from some of those family members growing up.

[00:06:47] Diana Winkler: So was that like extended family or your immediate family?

[00:06:50] Kimberly Clark: Immediate family.

[00:06:52] Diana Winkler: Oh, that’s really terrible. I’m sorry you went through all that.

[00:06:56] Yeah. Yay for mom, [00:07:00] for raising you in a Christian home and giving you that legacy and that foundation. And I’m gonna hear more about your faith as your story continues. But when did you go into the military, or when did you decide you wanted to go into the military?

[00:07:19] Kimberly Clark: I went in at 17 years old.

[00:07:22] Yeah, I lived in Castor, Louisiana pretty much my whole life. And Castor is a very small town, actually lived a village. I’m not sure what our population is, but I’m betting you. It’s below 1000. I’m not sure exactly how much. I don’t wanna misquote, but yeah. And so we end up moving to the city my sophomore year of high school, and we went.

[00:07:46] My mom got sick, really sick. She had congestive heart failure. And so we were back and forth to Houston, Texas, to St. Luke Episcopal Hospital every week to visit her. And thankfully she ended up getting a heart [00:08:00] transplant my senior year. And so I didn’t really go to school. Like I was always, the books were always easy for me, right?

[00:08:06] I was always pretty intelligent growing up. And so my plan was to go to the University of Louisiana, Monroe, Major in psychology, minor in social work. I even had a scholarship. I was on the debate team, had a scholarship for debate. There was a whole plan, right? I was going there, I was doing it, applied, got accepted, went and talked to this recruiter.

[00:08:26] And he convinced me to go to the military instead. Right? And I think it was the traveling and going to school at the same time part that really stood out to me. And I’m like, you know what I’m young, I wanna live and I wanna see the world. And so I listen to ’em, went to basic training.

[00:08:48] Diana Winkler: They’re very convincing. I hear.

[00:08:50] Kimberly Clark: They’re very convincing.

[00:08:52] Diana Winkler: Like timeshare salesman. Yeah. Yeah. Sign on the dotted line.

[00:08:58] Kimberly Clark: Yes [00:09:00] indeed. They have a nack for reading people. Right? And reading what they want to hear. And he knew I was into excitement and I liked to live the free life. And of course he made it sound so exciting and so free and, I could do all of these things. And not to mention, just wearing the uniform alone was just magical.

[00:09:24] You know what I mean? Those Dress whites. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like you instantly get, respect when you have that uniform, anywhere that you go, you instantly get that respect. Right? And so I wanted that. I needed that. And so, yeah I went to the military with the basic training in Chicago, Illinois in 2007.

[00:09:45] And I had to lose like 40, 45 pounds in basic training so I could graduate. Yeah. For your height, you have to be a certain weight and you have to have a certain weight. [00:10:00] Inches requirements. I forgot what you call it right now. But yeah, there’s certain requirements you have to be for your certain height for a woman.

[00:10:07] And so I’m five foot three, and I’m supposed to be like, what is it? Like the body mass index Right? Right. Supposed to be like what, a 140-50 pounds? No way. I’m 140. I’ve never been. Me Neither. Yeah. But according to that, I was supposed to be there or either had, a certain waistline, a certain neck perimeter, certain, all that.

[00:10:28] So I had to exercise a lot. I had to go, like I had to eat nothing. Pretty much nothing but salads and stuff. But I also lost 45 pounds. Cause we were constantly working out through basic training. Like literally they would wake us up out of our sleep just to do some pushups or sit up, right? Or running place or something like that.

[00:10:47] And so I was able to lose the weight. In time and I didn’t have to, graduate at a later date because that does happen where you go back to training and either you can’t pass like a physical exam or you can’t pass like [00:11:00] the intellectual exam. They’ll give you another chance, but you won’t graduate with the people that you started with.

[00:11:05] I wanted to graduate with the people I started with. . Cause I felt like I would be embarrassed if I didn’t. So I was able to graduate on. Yeah. And then I had orders to Guam, and I was super excited. Yikes.

[00:11:17] Diana Winkler: That’s a shock right there.

[00:11:20] Kimberly Clark: Very much a culture shock. Yes, indeed. I was, I mean, I was a little, I was excited though because a small town girl like me going to a freaking tropical island. Right? That’s all I knew about Guam, I didn’t even know of Guam until I got stationed there. And so, cause we was, I was, we was sheltered growing up.

[00:11:41] I mean, we knew about life in the world, but like our whole plan, like our mother instilled in us like, go to school, go to college, get a job, start a family that, that little step thing in your life and that, that’s what my goals were. Go to school, go to college, start a family, get a job, all that stuff.

[00:11:57] That’s what I wanted to do. But yeah, [00:12:00] Guam Guam Guam.

[00:12:02] Diana Winkler: My dad told stories of all the places that he’s traveled when he was in the Navy, and he tells the story about how when you cross the equator, there’s this initiation and he’s got it on video. Reel to reel video that I’ve seen where they have this big fat guy with grease all over his belly or something and everybody had to put their face in the guy’s belly and all these different initiation things. And my my dad was in over in the in Asia and brought back this hope chest from, I think it was Japan. So my mom still has this hope chest that he brought over on the ship.

[00:12:43] And all of us kids were like, well, my sister and I were like fighting over who gets that hope chest cuz it means something to us. It’s really beautiful and hand carved and intricate. And yeah, you got to go all kinds of great places. And did you go anywhere besides [00:13:00] Guam?

[00:13:00] Yeah. That sounds so beautiful.

[00:13:02] Kimberly Clark: Yeah, I went to Okinawa Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, Saipan, Singapore. Diego Garcia, Hawaii. Oh, and Russia. Went to Russia. Boy. Wow. Yeah.

[00:13:18] Diana Winkler: So I hear that you that you drove the ship!

[00:13:22] Kimberly Clark: I did.

[00:13:22] I drove, I was operations specialist and so we worked with, we worked on a bridge and so I was able to learn like some of the radar part of steering the ship, driving the ship and also the helm and lee helm.

[00:13:37] And so those two go together, the helm, and the lee helm when you’re operating, when you steering the ship. So that was super exciting. Exciting to do.

[00:13:46] Diana Winkler: Yeah, that does sound exciting. Now, it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows and fun, Right? What happened after that?

[00:13:54] Kimberly Clark: Well, when I got there, I started making some friends. I was a little [00:14:00] tomboyish, back then, and so I had mostly male friends and in the Navy, people probably know about this.

[00:14:06] Well, I know they know about this, but sailors drink, that’s what we did. We drunk when we got off on weekends and we would drink when we got liberty, which is freedom and free time in other countries. And so, I went out partying with some friends one night, as per usual.

[00:14:21] But this particular night I got more drunk than I usually would get. I think that’s the most drunk I’d ever been up to that point. And. Dancing, having fun. And I got extremely drunk and I asked one of my friends to take me back to my room and he took me back and he raped me. And so I didn’t remember, everything that happened.

[00:14:44] I just remember flashes. But I do remember him saying, Oh man, I shouldn’t be doing this, but she won’t let me do it any other way. And I remember that. So scary, right? So clearly and so vividly. I could still remember his [00:15:00] facial expressing, when he said that like he was, he wanted to do, but didn’t. I struggled with it for a while after that. I’m like, I felt like maybe if it was my fault, maybe I tried to come onto him, or, maybe he, he didn’t really wanna do it. I mean, there’s so many questions that ran through my head and that in a way I tried to let him off, and not, make him take responsibility for what he did.

[00:15:23] Because of my self-esteem, my self-esteem, because of the way that I viewed myself, the, all that self-esteem issues, the low self-esteem I had growing up, this made it 10 times worse. Cause now I’m looking at myself, it’s disgusting. Like I’m nothing because, I was a virgin when that happened.

[00:15:41] And I wanted to give my, yeah, I wanted to give myself away biblically, wanted to wait till I got married. I was said firm on that, and he took that choice away from me.

[00:15:51] Diana Winkler: So you say you were too drunk to even consent to that sort of thing. He just took advantage, [00:16:00] Right?

[00:16:01] Kimberly Clark: Right. Yeah, I know. I know that now.

[00:16:03] I know that now. But for years I struggled with the way I saw that night. Cause I, I wanted to blame me or I wanted to give both of us equal blame, cause I had to do something. Cause he was supposed to be my friend.

[00:16:16] Diana Winkler: Oh, so this is somebody you trusted?

[00:16:19] Kimberly Clark: It was somebody I trusted.

[00:16:21] Yeah.

[00:16:22] Diana Winkler: Oh, that’s doubly hard.

[00:16:24] I mean, it’s hard when a stranger violates you, but when it’s your friend and you think you can trust this person. That’s even worse.

[00:16:32] Kimberly Clark: Right. It was somebody I trusted and also somebody I secretly had a crush on. Right? And so this, a lot of the turmoil in my head came from that.

[00:16:41] Cause I’m like, but I liked him. . Right? I didn’t give him consent. Right? I did not tell him. Yes. I did not want that to happen in that way. Right? And he knew how drunk I was. There’s no way you should do [00:17:00] that to somebody when they’re in and out of consciousness. like there’s no excuse for that, regardless.

[00:17:06] And I had to come to a point where I saw it like that. This was it my fault? Right? And I have to, for one, take responsibility for my drinking, But what happened to me was not my fault, regardless of the situation, the circumstances that was surrounding me. Because I know there’s probably a lot of people out there that probably got violated by people that they may have liked, that they were friends with, that they had a crush on.

[00:17:38] And there’s so much turmoil in their head, which is in my head , about fault and about blame, and it’s shameful. I was ashamed. I was truly ashamed. It’s just not only of what happened, but who I became because of it.

[00:17:54] Diana Winkler: And you think that the military culture is to blame [00:18:00] for that?

[00:18:00] Is this what is expected the norm for being on shore leave? Or you think that’s not just a military issue, it’s for everybody?

[00:18:11] Kimberly Clark: I believe it is a really big military issue, and it is the norm now because there are a very high percentage of women and men who get violated year round in every branch of the military and nothing is done about it.

[00:18:27] The perpetrators get away with it. It’s reported some actually more often than not, it’s reported. But there are times when it’s not reported. But when it is reported, they get off and they still get to keep their rank and stay in, while the victim has to leave. Being called crazy, diagnosed with PTSD and given a medical discharge.

[00:18:50] Diana Winkler: Honorable discharge?

[00:18:51] Kimberly Clark: It’s a honorable, honorable medical that kind of go hand in hand. But yeah, it’s honorable medical, but there’s nothing that happens to [00:19:00] the perpetrator, the person that did this, right? They get to keep their rank. It’s usually officer that does this, an officer that does it to a lower rank, and they’re able to keep their rank, keep their position, even advance at some point, get to stay in.

[00:19:15] I wanted to do 20 years. I wanted to make a career out of the Navy and I wasn’t allowed to because they made me get out. They med-boarded than me. They made me get out the Navy. I didn’t want.

[00:19:26] Diana Winkler: Oh, that’s terrible. It was like the perpetrator gets to go on and assault more people, I’m sure.

[00:19:34] Kimberly Clark: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I have a best friend. He’s a guy, and unfortunately, like he was gang raped in the military. Oh no. We med-boarded out around the same time. I met him at Naval Medical Center bra before. Cause after it happened, my whole life changed. Like I changed to my core. The whole trajectory of my life changed [00:20:00] and it got back to my chain of command.

[00:20:02] My chain of command had to do something about it. Right? And so I had to go talk to the psychologist. I had to talk to N C I S every day for months. They even had me wear a wire to go talk to this guy, to get him to confess, He never did. They had me call him or the phone was tapped to get him to confess, that he never did.

[00:20:21] Right? And going through all day, trying to do my job, trying to not look embarrassed at the same time. Cause I felt like everybody was looking at me like I was just this broken thing, this weak thing after it happened. And so I struggled with suicidality and I tried to commit suicide. I took a 145 pills and I ended up, Yeah.

[00:20:45] But thankfully gracefully, somebody came to my barrick room that night and found me and got me to the hospital. And so they Medivac to San Diego, the Navy Medical [00:21:00] Center . And that’s where I met my best friend at. Yeah, he was gang raped. Then nothing ever happened to the perpetrator and he got

[00:21:09] medically discharged, and we’ve both been struggling with PTSD for years. After the course of 10 years actually.

[00:21:19] Diana Winkler: I’m sorry that happened to your friend. You still in contact? You still friends? Yeah. Yeah, we are. That’s good. Good to have some support.

[00:21:29] Somebody knows what you’re going through. And we see all these TV shows like JAG and N C I S. I’ve watched those and they’re really great shows. I mean, how your dealings with N C I S was that, realistic to what they do, what’s on the television, or not real?

[00:21:47] Kimberly Clark: Somewhat. Somewhat more NO.

[00:21:50] And then the thing about it is when they approached me, it was two males, two men. I had to talk to two men about this right after it [00:22:00] happened. And the whole time, there was never a woman in NCIS when I was going through this.

[00:22:06] Diana Winkler: Isn’t that protocol?

[00:22:07] Kimberly Clark: Yeah. And this is the first time I’ve actually talked about this.

[00:22:09] The first time I’ve actually triggered their memory. But yeah, it was two men. It wasn’t even a female that they had me talk to. But no, the process, it wasn’t nearly like that on TV. They wasn’t that interested. They wasn’t that devoted. They didn’t do all of that for me. Not at all. They if there wasn’t enough like clear evidence, it didn’t seem like they were going to try to find anything,

[00:22:33] Diana Winkler: So I’m assuming you didn’t

[00:22:34] have access to a rape kit or you didn’t decide not to do that or because of the shame.

[00:22:40] Kimberly Clark: Yeah. But when they found out about it, it was already a couple weeks later. Yeah. So there was no rape kit or anything done. If there was supposed to be one they didn’t do.

[00:22:49] Diana Winkler: That’s crazy.

[00:22:50] Well, I’m sorry that you had that unfortunate end with military service. Would you like to go back to the [00:23:00] military if they would’ve let you back in or you’re pretty much moved on?

[00:23:04] Kimberly Clark: Honestly, I would still go back when I tell you I love the Navy. I love my job. I love serving my country. I guess that discipline that, that value system, was there before the military.

[00:23:20] And so the military kind of gave me purpose for that time of my life and for a while, I would’ve still, I would’ve still went back regardless. However, I think now, at this point in my life, I think my calling, my passion, my purpose is somewhere different. It’s in, peer support. It’s in, speaking, advocating for others.

[00:23:41] I think that’s where I know that’s where my passion is. My purpose is.

[00:23:45] Diana Winkler: Yes, we need more advocates. So grateful that, that you’re out there telling your story and helping others going through this too. So what happened after you left the military? What was your life [00:24:00] like then?

[00:24:01] Kimberly Clark: I got my medical discharge.

[00:24:04] I came home back to Louisiana. I got introduced to drugs. My family members. I was looking for ways to cope, and I remember so vividly feeling alone and scared, and I was looking for any way to not feel like I was feeling. And so, yeah, I got introduced to the cocaine, the crack cocaine, methamphetamines, the pills.

[00:24:29] I was willing to try anything and everything to make me not feel. And over the course of 10 years, I struggled with, addiction with alcoholism. Alcohol was my drug of choice, but I did do drugs as well, And so drugs began to just rule my life. Drugs ruled my life. And it was like no longer about not feeling, It was how am I going stop [00:25:00] using this drug and doing any and everything to get it, and leaving all my responsibilities, losing my mind, but still wanting to get high and to get drunk.

[00:25:10] I knew at some point I was gonna have to face my childhood trauma and my military trauma if I wanted to heal. But I got introduced to drugs, started using, it just, I was in and out rehab, in and out of jail at one point in and outta psychiatric unit. It was just a hurricane of trauma, hurricane of just, it was just a spiral turmoil, and I wouldn’t wish that on no one. I mean, addiction does not discriminate. And it’s in every family, honestly, in this country, it’s within every family. Somebody got a brother, sister, cousin, stepsister, whatever, somebody, everybody has somebody they know that’s struggling with addiction. And that’s how out control has gotten, That’s how [00:26:00] out control has gotten.

[00:26:01] So I definitely struggled with addiction. I got married at one point. I was clean for maybe a year, got married through a narcissistic man who was 30 years, my senior. So I had those daddy issues, I had those daddy issues, that self-esteem issues. So I was looking for love anyway that I could get it, right?

[00:26:20] And it came to me in the, in a package of everything that I wanted. And I didn’t know at that point how, the enemy worked. Right? He sends you everything you need and one this big package. Right? And so, yeah, married a narcissistic man. And that was like trauma on top of trauma, all the constant criticism, the disregarding me, the isolation, the fake public persona that he always put in the gas lighting, the I just, I remember having to walk on eggshells all the time, and it made all of those issues from my [00:27:00] childhood and even from the MSD, like just multiplied, right?

[00:27:05] It just multiplied and increased. And there I was, homeless addict at one point. Homeless addict struggling with suicidality.

[00:27:15] Diana Winkler: I mean, these sort of things don’t happen because, you tried drugs for fun. Cause that’s kinda like the the outside world who has not struggled with drug abuse or addiction, they think, Oh, well you just did it for fun.

[00:27:31] It’s always, there’s some pain that you’re going through and you’re trying to numb the pain to get through your day. And that’s how it starts. Doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. You’re a good person and you a believer and you had a career and goals and and you got sucked into this.

[00:27:52] And it’s so, so hard to get out. One of my siblings had crystal meth that he was [00:28:00] into. And I ask him, now, how did you stop that? And he said, Well, I had our uncle who took me under his wing and taught me a trade and got me out of the environment I was in. Cuz otherwise I would’ve been dead or in prison.

[00:28:15] Yeah. And yeah, today he’s doing great. But that’s the people on the outside, they don’t understand that.

[00:28:24] Kimberly Clark: Right, Right. We’re missing purpose. I believe that’s the solution is finding purpose. And usually when somebody, goes through addiction and alcoholism and, they get clean, if they don’t consistently strive, to find out who they are.

[00:28:40] To face their trauma, face their pain, and find their purpose, they’re going to more than likely go back out and relapse, or continue to keep using. Finding our purpose is our solution. Striving to be better versions of ourselves is the solution, right? Taking [00:29:00] care of our, my body and spirit is this solution.

[00:29:03] Like I take care of my mind, with meditation, prayer, EMDR therapy with my spirit. I read the word of God. I pray, right? I go to my worship services and my body. I do Brazilian Jujitsu. I try to take, my me vitamins and stuff like that, consistently so taking care of those three things, finding your purpose is definitely the solution.

[00:29:25] Diana Winkler: What about rehab and stuff? Did that help you at all?

[00:29:30] Kimberly Clark: You know what? I went to so many different rehabs and it seems like all of them did the same thing, which is like CBT, cognitive behavior therapy, healthy relationship classes, anger management class too. Things like that. All of ’em did the same thing and every time I would always go back out, right? Go back to keep using.

[00:29:54] Until this last time I went to Heroes in Opelousas, Louisiana, and [00:30:00] they were so different because they made me face me and they made me face my trauma, and that worked. It clicked. That’s where I got introduced to EMDR therapy at. Right? I’d heard about it previously, but every other place that I didn’t.

[00:30:19] Did they know me? You know what I mean? Like, how don’t I need it? It seemed like the thing, the very thing that I didn’t try was a thing that worked. And so I do believe rehab works, right, for certain situations for certain people. But I believe the bottom line is you have to face yourself and you have to face your trauma.

[00:30:41] You have to want to love yourself. You have to want to get to know you, you have to want to heal, right? That honesty, openmindedness and willingness are three things that without those three things, you cannot heal and you cannot move forward.

[00:30:56] Diana Winkler: So true. Now, [00:31:00] your relationship with God at this time of your life.

[00:31:03] Obviously you didn’t lose your faith right? At this point in your life, God was still there for you. But unpack that a little bit for us.

[00:31:13] Kimberly Clark: Okay. Yeah.

[00:31:14] At one point, I felt like I lost my faith. I felt like I lost my will to serve God. To know God because I had tried, I felt like I tried everything to get clean, to stay clean, to be a good mother, right, To be a better me.

[00:31:33] And I felt like God wasn’t meeting me halfway right? So I lost my will. I lost my way, and I don’t think I ever forgot, the word of God. I don’t think I’ve ever. That without God nothing was possible for me. I just lost my will to put that to work. I lost my will to even go down that [00:32:00] route and even try because I felt like God sees me going through all this.

[00:32:05] Why isn’t he just helping me? Because he loves me? Why do I have to put the work in? I’m trying to stop. Why can’t God just make it all go away? I felt like that for, a while. But I was one of those people that even though I was out there, in active addiction, using every day, drinking every day, I couldn’t steal from nobody.

[00:32:27] Cause I was still convicted. I wouldn’t try, I couldn’t try to manipulate people or take advantage of people cuz I would feel convicted. You know what I mean? I could not become my environment. I could not become those. Like those people out there, because stuff like that hurts me. It hurt me to see, to hurt people or to see other people hurting.

[00:32:50] And while I was going through myself, I was trying to help people out of something that I couldn’t even get out myself. That’s the type of person I am. And even the type of person I was, even on the [00:33:00] street I’m so compassionate and empathetic to people, period. And God just made me that way, and I’ve learned to love them about myself.

[00:33:08] That regardless of what I went through, I was still trying to help somebody who, out of their situation, a situation I couldn’t even get myself out of. And so I realized that God never left me. He never stopped protecting me. He never stopped making provision for me, even when I couldn’t see it while it was happening.

[00:33:34] He never did. There were times where I did know, okay, God, I know that you had to do that because otherwise I probably would be dead right now. You know what I mean? Where I would go use up drugs knowing I owe somebody, and going around them knowing I owe them, knowing that they were really street life people and I really could have been killed.

[00:33:55] There was nothing but God protecting me. I’m going someplace five minutes later, [00:34:00] leaving and then finding out somebody got killed at the same place I just left. That was God protecting me, or finding out people getting killed for owing $10 and I owe 400. Stuff like that. It’s, that’s what God was, protect it.

[00:34:13] There were things out there that was only supernatural divine intervention and there’s no other way you can explain. No other way. And so I knew that. I know that. And God revealed to me that I had to face that thing I was running from those feelings, those hurts I had to face. Even the type of marriage I was in..

[00:34:38] And I had to face that this whole thing was orchestrated by me like. Matter of fact, I never even went to God about my marriage, about before I even married him. That was my own doing. I just wanted to be married so bad. I wanted to be in love so bad. I wanted that vision of a family so bad, I never went to God about none of that. I did all that on my own [00:35:00] and I had to face the consequences of my own choices. If I would’ve went to God about that, he would’ve gave me discernment, which I had but ignored because I wanted what I wanted. Right? And so, yeah, just looking back God was there the whole time.

[00:35:15] And so whether I wanted to see it or not, he was still helping me through all of it.

[00:35:22] Diana Winkler: Appreciate you so much being transparent about your feelings and the rollercoaster ride of feelings with your faith. I know lots of listeners have felt the same way. I, myself, going through my abuse, it’s like why are you letting this happen to me?

[00:35:40] Why don’t you fix this? I’m a good Christian. And I thought that God wasn’t listening. And of course hindsight is 2020 when we’re out of our abuse, we can look back and see, look where God protected me. He was there for me. Right? And I just wasn’t [00:36:00] listening. I was not openhearted.

[00:36:02] And of course the drugs do stuff to your brain. I love hearing stories like yours because I think there’s a lot of people that feel the same way and they’re ashamed that, well, my faith wasn’t strong enough. That’s why I suffered is cuz my faith wasn’t strong enough, but Right, right.

[00:36:21] God will still take care of us regardless.

[00:36:26] Kimberly Clark: Yeah, he does. He does. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s not that our faith is strong enough or something like that. Right? We have to face the choices that we make and we have to be honest about it. Like God was there the whole time, giving us that little nudge don’t do this, don’t do this, but I wanna do what I wanna do.

[00:36:45] Right? And so I make that decision without God, now I have to face that decision. But even if doing that, he’s still protecting me. He’s still right there. Even though I’ve made this dumb decision without God, he’s still gonna protect [00:37:00] me anyway. But I have to face the consequences.

[00:37:02] Diana Winkler: Natural consequences.

[00:37:05] And we didn’t talk much about your kids, but how did that affect your kids through all this, being a mom and stuff? That must have been hard.

[00:37:16] Kimberly Clark: Yeah. My kids I gave them somewhat of abandonment issues, cause at one point I was in and out, there’s one thing I can say that I am proud of myself for doing, is when I knew

[00:37:28] I was in active addiction. I knew I wasn’t in the right position to take care of them. I would bring them, I brought them to my mother and I was honest. Hey, I’m not doing right. I don’t want them around me. I don’t want them around what I’m doing. So I would bring them to my mother. My family has been the biggest help, like the biggest life saver when it comes to my kids, because they stepped in when I could not do it and been taking care of my kids.

[00:37:57] And my kids didn’t know about the addiction. They just, [00:38:00] they knew mommy was sick and mommy was away, but they didn’t know, And they were really young when this was going on. And so they won’t, remember all of it, all the other, the major stuff that happened. But yeah, my family stepped in.

[00:38:12] I’d raised my daughter for the first two years. She’s 16 now by myself. Right. And then the marriage happened. I had my son. And of course the addiction was in there. And so I took my kids to my mom. My mom had filled for custody because she didn’t see me coming out of it. Right? And I, I let her have custody because of that.

[00:38:35] But we co-parent now extremely well. I’m with my kids 24/7. They don’t know, the legal stuff, right? They just know mommy’s here. Mommy me and aunt loves them, right? We all take care of them together. That’s all they know, right? They don’t know the, all the other stuff.

[00:38:54] But yeah, my family has been major in my sobriety. [00:39:00] They’re super supportive and also major with, my kids, but it took me being honest about not being able to be a mother at that time. And me being willing to do the right thing for them. Cause I could have just, kept them and tried to do it.

[00:39:16] And just because I wasn’t ashamed. They didn’t want nobody to take my kids. No. It’s about my kids and their safety. Right? And I I wanna prevent them from seeing me in a state that I was in. Cause I was completely different person when I was drinking and getting high. And I was not the type of person to keep my kids safe.

[00:39:36] I was not because I was too busy thinking about getting high, but yeah, my kids don’t know that side of it. Like I said, there was, maybe five years I was in and out. Like I would be home for a while, then I would leave out, I was home, then I would leave out. And so I said that I kinda gave them abandonment issue because when I came in this last time, when I got this time around when it stuck with me, every time I would leave and go [00:40:00] outside or I went outside to smoke cigarettes,

[00:40:02] they was like, Mama, where you going? You know what I mean? literally, yeah, Every time they thought I was leaving. Cause when I left they didn’t know when I was coming back. And I wouldn’t lie to ’em, when I was in addiction, I would never tell them I’m coming back such and such.

[00:40:13] Cause I really didn’t know. So I refused to lie to them. And so, yeah, they were like, Hey mama where you going? I go to the bathroom, Mommy, where you going? Or when you coming back? And so I thank God that now it’s not like that. Now they know mommy’s here and you’re not going nowhere. Now it’s a actual, relationship I have with my kids and they know that I’m not going anywhere, that I’m going to stay.

[00:40:37] And that I’m a loving, kind and present mother now today because of recovery and because the grace that God gave me.

[00:40:45] Diana Winkler: Well, I have to say hats off to you. You made some really good choices, so you should take credit for that. You asked for help and put your children first. And[00:41:00] when you weren’t able to take care of them and you were honest with them. You didn’t lie to them.

[00:41:05] That’s huge. That’s huge. And thank God for your mom that stepped in during a hard time. But yeah, I congratulate you for making good decisions there. So, okay. No w you did already talk about some of. Things you did for healing? Let’s talk more about the the jujitsu.

[00:41:29] I’ve been a practitioner for 23 years, multiple arts, but jujitsu’s always been a part of it. I think jujitsu is very empowering for women. One of the reasons is with assault, you’re gonna wind up on the ground and it’s to be able to not freak out when you’re taken to the ground and you are familiar with, Okay, step one, this is how I get out of this.

[00:41:58] I have options. Right?[00:42:00] That’s very empowering. Rather than, Okay, you get taken to the ground or, You’re in the middle of an assault and you freeze up because this is unfamiliar territory, took you off guard. And so what was your experience?

[00:42:15] Kimberly Clark: My experience was very similar, just thinking about, situations that we could possibly be in.

[00:42:20] And now because I’ve been repetitiously doing this now, it become natural in case a situation like that arises. It definitely empowered me. It it made me feel a little better about keeping me and the people I love safe. It definitely helped me focused, it gave me more discipline. It gave me clarity.

[00:42:43] Right. And also it just, it got me back in shape. And we all know that when we physically feel good, we mentally feel good. Yes. So, yeah, girl, it got my body back into just feeling good. And so, man, I love it, and all the people that I train with, [00:43:00] the people that we train with are amazing too, right? Cause we never really, in competition, we’re all there to teach each other and to help each other.

[00:43:06] The best versions of ourselves. And so, yeah. Jujitsu, you learn so much mentally, spiritually, and physically.

[00:43:15] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I’m glad you found a good school. That’s a challenge sometimes. I am hoping I never have to use my physical martial arts skills. I have used my mental ones being aware of my surroundings and people following me and escaping and that sort of thing without having to use my physical skills.

[00:43:35] But there are so many, like you say, there’s so many attributes and life lessons that you learn that have nothing to do with kicking somebody’s butt, right? As you pointed out, it gives you all these other benefits. And so I always encourage people to find a school, find an art that, that you enjoy. It’s great exercise.

[00:43:59] [00:44:00] It’s great for mental health. And so, yeah. Too bad you’re not anywhere close. I could come visit , right?

[00:44:10] Oh,

[00:44:11] you’re up in Phoenix. Let me know.

[00:44:13] Kimberly Clark: I’ll actually have family in Sierra Vista,

[00:44:15] so we might have to make that happen.

[00:44:17] Diana Winkler: So, yes, please let me know if you’re in town. We will arrange something. At least to meet up, yes. But I wanted to give you time to talk about your book.

[00:44:28] What did you wanna say about your book and how you wrote it and everything.

[00:44:32] Kimberly Clark: My book that’s Between Pleasure and Pleasing God. God gave me the vision of my book when I was a teenager. He gave me the title of my book when I was a teenager, right? And so, but I didn’t know, of course the content, it would be in it.

[00:44:43] And so it took me all of 2021 to write it, but I knew that it was time, right? Cause I finally did the EMDR. I finally faced my trauma. I finally, built a relationship with God. I finally, got back in my kids’ life on a [00:45:00] consistent basis, right? So I’m doing all these things to, become the best version of myself.

[00:45:07] It’s time to tell my story and it’s time to tell how I’m healing, how I’m dealing with this because it’s working and I know if it’s working for me, somebody that’s done been down this road 30 times, this will work for somebody too. So my book is about my life. It’s about how I heal, what I did to overcome what I did, to learn to love myself.

[00:45:30] And it’s also about what I’m doing right now to keep it this way.

[00:45:34] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I know you, you left a lot of stuff out, I’m sure, but what message would you like to give to the listeners right now who, maybe who’ve gone through the same thing that you went through?

[00:45:46] Kimberly Clark: Just definitely become honest, biggest thing to yourself, right?

[00:45:51] And then find it in your heart. Become honest to another person. Whether that be a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, but being [00:46:00] honest has gotten me so far, rather than just trying to fit in or trying to, just be like everybody else. Honesty, transparency. Also, you have to be willing, right? You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make those changes.

[00:46:18] To make those changes, and to heal. Be open minded because we don’t know everything, right? We’re always learning. Consistently learning. I will never stop learning.

[00:46:28] But definitely be honest. Being honest will get you way farther.

[00:46:35] Just trying to fit in or just trying to be like everybody else. Be honest about who you are and what do you want from your life, right? Because if you’re not honest with yourself, you not honest with another person, whether that be a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, accountability partner.

[00:46:50] Be honest with somebody else about, just accept what happened in your life. Accept it for exactly the way it is, and do the work for you to become the [00:47:00] best version of yourself. Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. You have to be open. You have to be honest because we don’t know everything, right?

[00:47:09] I’m a forever, always continue to learn because I don’t know everything and I wanna become the best version of me. So I’m gonna continue learning how to do that and learning how to lay the right foundation for my kids and the people that I love. Because we have to live by example, right? That’s the, that’s, we can’t, we can tell people what to do all day, but if we live what we’re talking about, they’re gonna pay attention to how we’re living more than they pay attention to what we’re saying.

[00:47:39] And know that You can overcome. And there is a life, your life where you’re walking in your purpose, to where you love yourself, to where you’re healed and you’re moving forward. That does exist. And it takes some prayer, meditation, You doing the work, right? And you have to [00:48:00] accept things for the way they happen, the way they are, no matter how much it hurts.

[00:48:05] Because it’s only gonna hurt for a little while. Right? Emotional hurt cannot kill you. You can handle that hurt and you can move forward and be on the other side, but your life does exist with you winning and with

[00:48:17] you healed.

[00:48:18] Diana Winkler: That is so good.

[00:48:19] I love it. So it’s wonderful advice. And so we can get your book on Amazon, right?

[00:48:27] Kimberly Clark: Yes, it is. It’s on Amazon, Stuck between Pleasure and Pleasing God. It’s also on my website www.kimberlycares.info as well as all my other information.

[00:48:39] Diana Winkler: I will have that all in the show notes for everybody. If you want, you can send me a hard copy and I will promote your book for you on the show.

[00:48:48] And definitely stay in touch, of when you come into town and. This has been awesome. I so am blessed by you and your story and continue [00:49:00] to advocate for the veterans. It’s so needed and God bless you.

[00:49:07] Kimberly Clark: Thank you so much. You have such a warm spirit. I knew that I felt it before we actually got on and started recording.

[00:49:14] You have a beautiful, warm spirit. I love just sitting here having a conversation with you, and thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

[00:49:22] Diana Winkler: Oh, thanks for the kind words and thanks for being on the show.

[00:49:26] Kimberly Clark: Absolutely, thank you.