EP 182: Tools For Those Triggers: Tiffany Owen Part Two

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence

Welcome back to Part Two of my conversation with Tiffany Owen! We will talk about how to deal with those pesky triggers that all survivors have to deal with, hear the rest of her journey, and how you can get a copy of her fabulous book Wounded To Warrior!

Tiffany Owen is a fitness and life coach on a mission empowering people to be radically transformed into their best version. Her pain is her purpose. With over 20 years experience in the fitness and health industry, she is a voice for those caught in a vicious cycle of self sabotage.

Through her experience as a trauma survivor, Tiffany offers hope, strength, and instruction, sharing her victories to help warriors in waiting revolutionize their minds, bodies, habits, and goals. Along with the same tools she used to overcome PTSD, addiction, mental health struggles, and living from a victim mindset.

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Tiffany Owen Part Two

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now, here is Diana.

[00:00:33] Hello. Welcome back to the podcast. Part two on my interview with Tiffany Owen, who is sharing her abuse story last week. She’s a mom. She’s a life coach. She has tons of experience as a trauma survivor. She’s been through addiction,

[00:00:55] some health problems, and she’s rocking it.

[00:00:59] [00:01:00] How did she get from where she was to where she is going? So I’m not going to review too much more than that. Go back and listen to part one, if you missed it. So you have the context and then jump right into part two of my conversation with Tiffany Owen.

[00:01:19] So in 2010, and I, and I prayed for years and And I prayed for every, every marriage that I was in. I didn’t want a divorce. I wanted God to like, reconcile my marriage. I truly did. He didn’t. And it was for the best, right? I had to go through that.

[00:01:36] And of course, I’m grateful for it now, but, We met, kind of very randomly through, a thing called, Discovery. It’s a retreat where you are working on yourself and it’s like three days for three months, consecutive months. So, and Dr. Phil actually had it, headed it up. It’s like this whole program.

[00:01:59] [00:02:00] And so we just met in passing. And that was that. I mean, he was trying to work on his marriage. I was trying to work on mine, but that’s where I met him. And so, after my 3rd divorce was final, and I put on Facebook that I was single. He messaged me and he was like, I’m single too. And yeah, he’s like, Hey, let me call you.

[00:02:27] So he lived like two and a half hours away. And, totally a God thing. He had been single for about a year and he was at a place where he was looking for who God wanted him to be with too. And he got to a point where, okay, God, if you want me to be single, then I’m okay with that. And then I came into his life and I had an eight year old and a three year old and I was a mess and, he came to visit me and.

[00:02:51] We only dated about six weeks and we, and he asked me to marry him and I’m married. Of course, we got married, but we didn’t have sex [00:03:00] before we got married. We decided we’re going to do it. Right. We’re going to do it God’s way. You know, we, our way was not working and we got married pretty quickly, but that was new for me to have a man not take advantage of me sexually.

[00:03:18] Yeah, and I didn’t know that that was, that that would matter that much, but it does. Mm-Hmm. because the trust that you gain and the respect. It’s different. Yeah. You’re not just, a party favor. You are a person and you have no one had ever treated me that way. Right. So we’ve been married, we’ve been married, 13 and a half years and, he didn’t have any kids.

[00:03:44] And, So we started trying right away and got married in December, and in April, I found out I was pregnant with twins. And he said he prayed for twins. So, so he thought he couldn’t have kids. And we’ve [00:04:00] had, A lot of obstacles and he had to really go through a lot with living with and being married to someone who has been so traumatized and abused.

[00:04:11] And I don’t think the significant other of a woman like me would It’s talked about enough of what they have to go through and how do they deal with it? How does it not destroy their marriage? How do they support you? And he did, he, he loved me, you know, through it, but it was really hard. And if it wasn’t for his relationship with God, I’m not sure we would have made it because that was sometimes the only reason he stayed with me.

[00:04:40] You have a valid point there. Now, my listeners know that I was in an abusive marriage. My first husband and we were missionaries and church planters and, in a very controlling, abusive church denomination. Out in front of everybody, we had it all together. And then behind the [00:05:00] scenes, it was a very abusive marriage and, long story short, I woke up after 13 years of that and decided I’m getting out and got out. And I’m married to my current husband, Brian, our 14th anniversary just passed, and I’ve had to go through the same thing.

[00:05:21] My story is. Very different than yours, just as valid, but very different. But when we’re in another healthy relationship, like we are now, it’s so hard. Because like my husband, Brian, will say something totally innocent that maybe my ex had said to me and I will react to that. I’ve had to go through counseling and, small groups and a lot of prayer and Bible study with other survivors and.

[00:05:52] Had to learn. I need to take a pause and realize he’s an innocent person in this party [00:06:00] and he didn’t mean what he said and the way you thought he said it. And yeah, now I explain, um, please don’t say that phrase because my abusers would say that to me. And then it was, Oh, I’m so sorry.

[00:06:16] I won’t say that again, you know, find something else to say. And that happens every once in a while, those triggers. And Brian’s very supportive of me, like your husband is.

[00:06:26] Did you have any tools for yourself when you are blending two families and he’s not a survivor, but you are?

[00:06:36] Yeah, so that and that’s a really good question. His mom was actually very abusive, very so physically and verbally. So he, he is a survivor too, which then we can trigger each other. Right? And it can become toxic if we’re not careful, for many years, we did not have any tools. And, it was a roller coaster, but [00:07:00] about 4 years ago, 4 and a half years ago, I started, being a health coach.

[00:07:05] And in this platform, we were introduced to other coaches. who gave us tools, marriage coaches, Christian marriage coaches specifically, who shared a lot of good healthy conflict tools that we still use and we teach to other people. But up until that point, I think a lot of times he would just keep his mouth shut and walk on eggshells.

[00:07:31] Because he didn’t want to trigger me. There was a lot of fear in the house. And then I had episodes of wouldn’t drink very much or not at all. I even donated my liver to a stranger with cancer. So I could do no alcohol, but when I drank it was. If I would drink too much, always very addictive personality.

[00:07:54] So through coaching, we were introduced to a lot of personal development, [00:08:00] a lot of different, and that gave us tools. And then I write about all the tools that I’ve used in my book to get over. So in my fitness and mindset coaching, I have kind of created a model because I don’t fitness coach

[00:08:18] people unless I do mindset coaching with them, because I’m and I’m dealing with a lot of people who have gone through trauma and they’re food addicts. I was just going to say that, or you probably deal with some people that have food addictions. Yeah, but I had to figure out how to, truly heal and be the person that God intended me to be before I could help other people.

[00:08:41] And so my last breakdown, my, my final bottom that led me to this was June, it’ll be two years ago, of 2020. I tried to kill myself for the fourth time. I was just tired. I was tired of fighting. I was tired of drinking too much. I was tired of, you know, [00:09:00] the highs and the lows of living in my past and resentment and being triggered.

[00:09:05] And like, I just couldn’t get over it. And I was just tired. Like, I would pray that God would just let me go to sleep and not wake up. It was like, I just was in this perpetual loop. I just couldn’t get out of it because I didn’t have any tools. Back to what you said. I, I didn’t, I had lots of therapy and different things, but no real tools like pausing and saying, can you say this instead?

[00:09:28] Or when you say that, this is how it makes me feel. Those are tools, right? Very simple but profound. Didn’t have that. Chris, my husband now gave me the ultimatum and it was very hard for him. It’s like, if you don’t get help, I’m going to take the kids and I’m going to have to leave. And so I went to treatment and also went to a trauma treatment too, in Tennessee.

[00:09:50] It’s called onsite. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. No. It’s amazing. They have them all over, but they do, uh, trauma based treatment workshops. [00:10:00] So, um, I got to go there and I actually put into practice. everything I was taught, and it’s worked. It’s, I mean, it’s worked, but I have to contend for the best version of me every single day, right?

[00:10:17] Yes, I have to choose every single day. I’m not going to flip out when my husband does this or says that, or I’m going to, wake up with a positive mindset rather than a negative one and take ownership of myself. You use that, I’m going to own my stuff.

[00:10:34] And that’s kind of where I talk about how to participate in your own rescue as being responsible for your emotions and triggers. It’s, our responsibility to acknowledge whatever is triggering us means that something inside of us needs to be healed or acknowledged.

[00:10:51] It’s just an alarm. Right? So it starts with awareness, but that’s taking responsibility and choosing to do that. [00:11:00] I mean, it’s really hard to overcome that victim mindset. We’re still in that hole, even though we got out of the abusive situation, we’re still in that, that pit and woe is me and feel sorry for me.

[00:11:13] It’s very hard to get out of that. So how do you overcome that mindset of pity party?

[00:11:18] Yeah. So that’s valid. Listen to all you’ve been through, I’ve been through like. It is sad, right? So it’s like, yes, like most people are very valid, but, but then we put ourself in a prison and it’s like, we think we’re protecting ourselves, but we’re not.

[00:11:35] And so I’m glad you said something about digging yourself out of a hole. So I think first, not think I know, it starts with coming out of denial that, okay, I need to get my power back. Like I’m in the victim mindset because a lot of people are in it and they don’t realize they’re in it. And we find what we’re looking for.

[00:11:59] So [00:12:00] if you’re in a victim mindset, you will find evidence to support that you are a victim. Does that make sense? Yes. Right. And a lot of people don’t know that. Right. So what you focus on grows where you place your energy is where you place your attention. So if we’re constantly on the lookout, cause somebody’s going to get us or hurt us, which is our protector.

[00:12:20] It more likely it’ll happen because we’ll find it different ways that people are hurting us or we’ll create a situation like I’ll pick a fight with Chris or a friend will hurt my feelings, you know, but I’m just recreating, right. To support that other victim. So getting tired of that first and then, okay, what I’m doing is not working.

[00:12:44] So I got to do something else. Yeah, your friends don’t come around anymore or call. Yeah, and why would they? Yeah, because they’re a mess. Um, so, and pushing people away, because if you let people get close, then you might get hurt again. So [00:13:00] it’s very scary. So to answer your question, coming out of denial, really educating myself on what I did have control over and how I could change my mindset and almost rewire my brain.

[00:13:15] It takes a lot of work, but learning the science behind that. And it’s very biblical too, right? Like taking every thought captive. Yeah. When a negative thought comes in, flipping it. Whichever is true. Whichever is lovely. Whichever is pure. Think on those things. So, for me, I write, I call it a declaration paragraph.

[00:13:37] I’ve been writing it every single morning for 2 years and I teach my clients to do this too. So I start with, I have them write down, like, their negative self talk, like, all the negative things that they’re saying on a loop in their head. And then that’s where we start. So we get them out. So that’s also coming out of denial because then we end up abusing ourselves because we’re just replaying what the abusers did to us [00:14:00] over and over.

[00:14:01] So we stay punishing ourselves and then flipping that and, I have them create a paragraph of adjectives that they want to be, like, who is the best version of you? So, for instance, mine, positive, confident, empowered, highly favored, spirit filled, godly woman, limitless, warrior. So I start with that and I write it every single morning.

[00:14:30] And so in my book, I have like four or five examples of different paragraphs and I teach how to write your paragraph. So over, so I’m rewriting, creating a new narrative, and then now I’m looking for evidence to support the new narrative. And slowly, if you’re consistent, you’re like, Oh my gosh, I’m not saying bad things to myself anymore.

[00:14:55] I’m finding joy. But the consistency part [00:15:00] of using a tool like that and changing where your focus is, that’s the key. And sometimes it takes a year or more. That’s the hard part.

[00:15:10] Get out of those bad habits. For sure. And not that that would be a replacement for counseling or group therapy, but it’s what you say, a tool in addition to remind us where our mind is supposed to be and we have freedom and victory.

[00:15:30] In Christ, we don’t have to be that victim anymore. And man, we were like all over the place today, probably took on a lot of rabbit trails, but, you have a lot more details in your book, what else did you want to share about your book that we didn’t share today? So in my book, I do talk about my mental health struggles, my struggle with addiction and [00:16:00] recovery.

[00:16:01] Suicide attempts, my abusive relationships, so I share my testimony, but then I also share my tools of how I’ve overcome and how I’m still working on overcoming a lot of it, but I’m like a different person now. Yeah, it’s a journey. Yeah, but a lot, I don’t know, I don’t know if you would agree or disagree.

[00:16:25] But a lot of times when you are in a victim mindset and you’ve been abused, you will turn to substances, whether it’s food or alcohol or pills or because it helps you change the way you feel. And so for me, that was a big thing for me that I struggled with that I’m free from now. So I want to offer hope, tools, inspiration.

[00:16:51] It is possible. I’m not special. If I can do it, anybody can do it. Absolutely. And there, there are parts of the [00:17:00] book that may be triggering you, uh, you warned ahead of time. What should they do when they come across something that’s triggering to them? Actually, in the very front of the book, I write a letter to the reader about that and I tell them to go to the very back of the book and look at the tools and the things that I share on how to get over that.

[00:17:26] if you were feeling triggered. So I actually addressed that in the beginning of the book and I’m very careful with how I write and what I write because I wanted people to be able to relate so it’s almost like conversational but not Be so detailed where someone will be so triggered where they couldn’t finish the book.

[00:17:47] Right. I’ve read a couple of those. Yeah. Yeah. So my book is not like that, but it’s enough to where you get the point. And then I finished up with, this is what I did to get past that. [00:18:00] I don’t leave the reader hanging. Right. So I do address that in the very beginning. Now, do you have any testimonials from your clients or your readers that you would like to share with us?

[00:18:13] Yeah, I have a lot. So, I have a lot like in the book written. There was one that stuck out to you that you did great. And yeah, so change. Yeah. So really, I’ve coached probably 1400 people in the last four years and my fitness and mindset clients are, are the ones who, who have just done the most amazing.

[00:18:37] So not just, I believe that if you transform your mind, your body will follow. And, So one in particular, she didn’t even really have a relationship with God. And because I worked that into my coaching, not pushing, not pushing, just sharing my experience, people want what you have. If they [00:19:00] see that in you, right?

[00:19:01] So I want to live a congruent life and be an example. So, she’s 53. She’s amazing. Not only does her, she’s lost over a hundred pounds and she looks amazing. Just like me. It’s amazing. But she writes her paragraph every single morning. She listens. We’re very intentional about what we listen to. You would have to see her, but she’s on my website.

[00:19:30] And so is her testimony. Anyways, so her, my husband is going to baptize her at, our retreat in October in Tennessee. So because she is now loving herself and she is able to have that spiritual connection because she’s got all the junk out. Right. Cause that helps, but she is on fire for God, her mental health, her physical health is incredible.

[00:19:57] and she wrote a testimony for me and it’s on the [00:20:00] website I can’t do it justice. It’s pretty incredible. Oh, I know. And I know they’re all your babies and you love them all and you pour yourself into people’s lives and you see these changes. I lead a small group of survivors called Mending the Soul, and yeah, I see some, incredible changes of healing and they go on to lead their own groups.

[00:20:26] Yes. And that’s part of healing, right? So that’s how we keep what we have is by giving it away to other people. That’s right. We share it with others. Yeah, I wanted to give you a chance to talk about your, your health and fitness coaching. Cause, um, those of you that are watching on YouTube, you can see her biceps. And how do you get biceps like that?

[00:20:50] Yeah. Yeah. But what’s crazy is like, I had my own little period of time where [00:21:00] I was overweight again, because I was in the depths of my depression and mental health struggles. And I have my own transformation that I transformed again. But, with my fitness coaching, I write people workouts out.

[00:21:15] I do everything virtually, so I have people all over the United States, all age groups, but where the magic happens is in the community that I’ve created, extra accountability. We have small group Zooms, kind of like church, but not, small group forums where people can be vulnerable and share.

[00:21:32] And the workout’s just a bonus, but when they have connection with others, they’re able to be vulnerable. And then we have one on one mindset zooms, kind of like life coaching sessions. And then they all work out on their own pretty much from home. I work their workouts out and because we build this connection and this trust, they want to do it.

[00:21:53] They don’t have to force themselves to do it. Like I can make anyone love working out pretty much. [00:22:00] So that’s what my coaching is about. And it’s, it’s pretty amazing how they’ve all bonded. There’s about 60 in the group right now. That’s a pretty good size group. And you do need community for whatever goal that you’re trying to reach.

[00:22:18] You can’t do it by yourself. You gotta have a community, to lift each other up. And some days you get up and you don’t feel like working out or you just want to have a cupcake. Or you can eat a cupcake and then share how you feel. Horrible about it. And then they’re going to make you feel better and we’re going to get it back together.

[00:22:35] Yeah. Yeah. They’re not perfect at all. So the, but what I’ve found is by engaging in community, doing the mindset work that I suggest listening, because what we listened to, what goes in comes out, all those things, their, their bodies transform with the workout because they’re working on their mind.

[00:22:56] It’s beautiful how it happens. [00:23:00] Yes. So where can people get in touch with you, for a mindset class or fitness or to get your book? Yeah. Where can they find all that? My website is coach tiffany owen.com. So Coach Tiffany, T-I-F-F-A-N-Y. O N O W E N dot com. And of course that will be in the show notes.

[00:23:29] So leave us with your very best two sentences of advice to leave us with. I like to go with my heart and what, what the Holy Spirit puts on my heart.

[00:23:40] So the, the first thing that comes to my mind that I really stand by is that you cannot change or heal what you don’t acknowledge. That’s old or heal what you don’t acknowledge. Hmm. Yes. I can hold on to that. Yes. [00:24:00] Well, this has been a great conversation. I can talk to you all day and this has been, educational and inspiring at the same time.

[00:24:09] And, maybe we’ll have to, Meet up in, Texas when I’m in October, I will send you my book. Like I told you, I would. Or digital copy to you. Cause it’s on Kindle too. Thank you. I can’t wait to read it. So God bless you. Keep in touch. And thanks for being on the show. So much.

[00:24:32] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries. org where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next [00:25:00] week!